Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Center for American Progress Urges House Members to Vote Against Anti-Immigrant Bills
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Center for American Progress Urges House Members to Vote Against Anti-Immigrant Bills

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, and H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law, both introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) last week. H.R. 3003 seeks to authorize the federal government to withhold millions of dollars in federal funding for localities they deem to have sanctuary policies—even if the locality does not identify as such. H.R. 3004 would increase the penalty for illegal re-entry but would expose asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, and good Samaritans who provide emergency medical assistance to prosecution. More than 400 state, local, and national immigrant, religious, and civil rights organizations have urged the House to vote “no” on these bills, and the Fraternal Order of Police, the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and more than 100 faith leaders have expressed disagreement with H.R. 3003.

Tom Jawetz, vice president for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Pogress, issued the following statement:

These bills are not designed to make communities safer or to strengthen our economy. Instead, they capitalize on the fearmongering and scapegoating that we have come to expect from the Trump administration in order to pursue its mass deportation and overincarceration agenda.

As CAP’s own research has shown, counties with sanctuary policies are actually safer and more prosperous than those without. H.R. 3003 undermines public safety by attempting to coerce state and local law enforcement into performing federal immigration enforcement function—a recipe for disaster. The bill nonsensically threatens to withhold from states and localities millions of dollars in federal funds that are needed to assist law enforcement, national security, and counterterrorism efforts. The bill also ignores fundamental tenets of our constitution that prohibit detention in the absence of probable cause and basic due process protections. Punishing jurisdictions with sanctuary policies will only make communities less safe, as it will negatively affect community trust in law enforcement.

Kate’s Law is a boondoggle for private prison companies that continue to profit from this administration’s efforts to double down on mass incarceration. The bill eliminates safeguards in current law that protect asylum seekers and trafficking victims from being criminally prosecuted for seeking help and would result in prosecutions for re-entering after a prior removal even if that prior removal was itself fundamentally unfair. CAP urges House members to vote against these bills.

CAP experts are available to speak on this topic. To coordinate, please contact Tanya Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.

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