The legislation to deny federal financing to cities that refuse to keep undocumented immigrants in custody when asked to do so by federal immigration authorities, which was introduced by Senator David Vitter, faces an important test vote on Tuesday, October 20th.
The legislation will need a minimum of 60 votes to proceed to debate, which is a threshold that the Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate seems unlikely to meet. Vitter has been pushing similar legislation for a number of years; however, the outcry following the murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant and five-time deportee earlier this year saw his campaign suddenly gain momentum.
“Policies allowing a safe harbor for illegal immigrants simply need to end because we know what they can lead to – just ask the Steinle family who so very recently lost their daughter Kate,” Vitter says. “It’s absolutely ridiculous for a US city to ignore our nation’s immigration laws and provide safe harbor for illegal immigrants, and my bill will send the clear message to all sanctuary cities that their dangerous policies won’t be rewarded anymore.”
The new version of Vitter’s legislation would deny communities and cities that operate sanctuary city policies grants and funding for the purchasing of police equipment, the hiring of police officers, and for community development projects. There are currently over 300 such cities in the United States, including New Orleans.