Democrats in the U.S. Senate this week blocked Republican efforts to restrict federal funding to sanctuary cities. Wisconsin Republican, Senator Ron Johnson, was a cosponsor of the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act. “Republicans voted for the bill, and Democrats prevented us from actually even getting on the floor for further debate,” Johnson said.
The bill failed Tuesday on a 54-45 vote. It needed 60 to advance. “We couldn’t even get a motion to proceed, to put it on the floor to have thoughtful debate and get this thing passed,” Johnson said.
Johnson chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where an official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) testified that the agency was unable to deport the man who went on to kill Kate Steinle, because San Francisco did not honor the ICE detainer. Steinle’s killer had already been deported five times. San Francisco is one of several sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration laws, or honor federal immigration detainers.
Johnson said the blocked legislation was “pretty simple,” and would have made it costly for these cities to break the law. “It’s holding something over their head and saying, listen, if you continue to blatantly disregard the law, not honor these detainers, yet not turn criminals over to federal law enforcement officials, you’re not going to get some of this federal funding,” he said.
Wisconsin Democrat, Senator Tammy Baldwin , joined 43 Democratic colleagues and Illinois Republican Senator Russell Kirk in voting to block further action. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar measure in July.
Thanks to WSAU