Senate Dems Block Sanctuary Cities Bill

Senate Democrats blocked the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act yesterday by a vote of 54 to 45. Republicans needed 60 votes to keep the bill, introduced by Vitter of Louisiana, moving forward.

The bill would have stopped some law enforcement funding and community development grants to states and cities that don’t hold immigrants for federal immigration officials.

The bill would have also mandated a five- to 10-year minimum prison sentence for a person convicted of a felony or drug-related misdemeanors who reenters the United States illegally.


Barbara Boxer:

“You get five years if you try to get out of Mexico? There’s no support for that,” Boxer said.

Diane Feinstein:

Feinstein said in a statement that she supports mandating communication about violent criminals between local, state and federal law enforcement, but that Vitter’s bill would have applied to all immigrants in the country illegally, not just those with violent pasts.

“This is a standard that could be abused in another administration, and it is potentially a huge unfunded mandate to impose on states and localities,” she said.

Harry Reid:

"Like the disgusting and outrageous language championed by Trump, this legislation paints all immigrants as 'criminals and rapists,'" Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What terrible legislation! (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 09:27:12 AM EST
    Amazing that even with the so-called "bipartisan consensus" to get "smart on crime," and the supposed general awareness of the unsustainable cost(s) of mass overincarceration, a bill proposing new mandatory minimum sentences -- for anything -- could pass the House and garner 54 votes in the Senate. And on top of that, the "sanctuary cities" provision would punish cities and states for refusing to violate the Fourth Amendment, that is, for refusing to honor ICE "detainers" to hold prisoners suspected of being deportable aliens after they are otherwise legally entitled to release from jail. By federal regulation these "detainers" are mere "requests" that do not have to be based on probable cause or to be backed by a warrant or court order. Our ACLU chapter successfully sued a nearby county jail for holding someone several days on one of these lawless "detainers" who turned out to be -- as he claimed all along -- a New Jersey resident born in Puerto Rico (i.e., a U.S. citizen).

    "five- to 10-year minimum sentence" (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 10:54:27 AM EST
    In other words, sentencing us to pay $300,000+.

    We have got to stop employing idiots as Senators.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 11:15:08 AM EST
    ...clearing out cells to fill them with immigrants isn't solving any problems.  Add in law enforcement and processing/court costs and we would have been back to square one.

    While I agree about needing new senators, they did ensure this was blocked.

    And can we stop calling anything that doesn't help the Fed, a sanctuary.  Jesus.


    Correct. "Sanctual city" does not mean (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Peter G on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 01:21:21 PM EST
    that a deportable alien can take refuge there and be protected from ICE. The Supremacy Clause prevents that. It only means that local jailers won't hold people illegally on the mere say-so of ICE agents, and that local police will not go out of their way to act as auxiliary immigration agents, for which the locals have no training, expertise or enforcement authority.

    "sanctuary" not "sanctual" (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peter G on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 01:22:22 PM EST

    It's painful, isn't it? (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 05:24:17 PM EST
    In my other life I use editors that show revision counts.  Over 100 revisions is common.  Weeks before I'm satisfied is common.

    Here, it's seat of the pants.  Peering into this small window, until I've hit post I can't even see the howlers and sentences torn between tenses and person.  So it's a crap shoot.  Will I feel like a fool immediately, or will it take a little longer to see my mistakes?


    Isn't (none / 0) (#8)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 06:36:46 AM EST
    There some common ground that can be reached?
    That someone illegally in the country , convicted of a felony , be turned over to Federal Immigration Agents for deportation.

    Is that an outrageous request?


    You might want to direct your (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 08:11:57 AM EST
    question to the Republican members of Congress

    I suggest that you contact Republican Senators and Representatives and ask them to stop sponsoring outrageous legislation. That might be a good first step.


    I don't understand (none / 0) (#12)
    by TrevorBolder on Fri Oct 23, 2015 at 12:52:24 PM EST
    The Republican members of Congress have no say in what many cities across the country have been doing, basically ignoring Federal immigration law.

    I just don't think this would be that big an issue if those cities backed off a little bit, and did notify federal authorities when they have a repeat felony offender on hand who is here illegally.

    Is that too much too ask?


    You are right you don't understand (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 23, 2015 at 05:42:29 PM EST
    The bill was to give the Republican members of Congress a definite say in how cities handle immigration detainers.

    As stated by PeterG:

    ....the "sanctuary cities" provision would punish cities and states for refusing to violate the Fourth Amendment, that is, for refusing to honor ICE "detainers" to hold prisoners suspected of being deportable aliens after they are otherwise legally entitled to release from jail. By federal regulation these "detainers" are mere "requests" that do not have to be based on probable cause or to be backed by a warrant or court order.

    Court ruling:

    PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today ruled that states and localities are not required to imprison people based on "detainer" requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, recognizing that states and localities may share liability when they participate in wrongful immigration detentions.

    The bill included (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Fri Oct 23, 2015 at 03:58:49 PM EST
    A 5 year minimum prison sentence for immigrants.

    The Republican members of Congress weren't interested in a compromise solution.


    I Don't Know... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 09:07:25 AM EST
    ....but I do know I am a tax accountant and I don't think I would start welding just because the welders can't do their jobs at one of our plants, especially if they weren't giving me any funds to 'help' out and for some reason didn't fill out the paperwork required.

    Should they start doing the work of the FDA, the FFA, maybe even the CDC ?

    For the record, your example is not even close to the bulk of what they want, it's the one case in which all the republicans are trying to hang everything on, and it would seem it is working on some.  

    The question you should ask, is why didn't ICE fill out the required paperwork in this particular case, why are they only ones not getting blamed for their mistake ?


    TrevorBolder, I see that the answers (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Oct 22, 2015 at 10:26:58 AM EST
    you get avoid rather than answer.

    The answer, of course, is that a huge majority of the US population say, yes. The person has been convicted and it is reasonable that they be deported.

    It is also reasonable that local police departments hold the person until ICE can take them. That this might "stress" the locals,while true, it is also true that we, as a societal obligation, are expected to do things that "stress" us. Paying taxes comes immediately to mind.

    This whole thing is phony. And while the Repubs are guilty of playing politics the Demos are a three ring circus as compared to the Repubs high high school play.

    We lost control of our southern border under Reagan and the deal he cut with the Demos. And while we can't put the genie back in the bottle we can certainly close the border in such a manner that no one sneaks through. The concept is known as treat the life threatening condition first and is about as simple and painfully commonsense as it gets.

    At the same time we should vet those who are here without our knowledge of their status and issue green cards allowing them to stay. As part of that deal they should be placed at the very end of the line of people wanting to apply for citizenship. And even more important, any child born of them while here should never be considered a citizen of the US but they would be part of the parent's effort.

    A wrong does not make it right and a law designed to protect slaves who had been terribly wronged should not be used to allow people to avoid other laws.


    It figures. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 21, 2015 at 02:48:32 PM EST
    America's GOP: Pandering to the Lowest Denominator since 1896.