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Latta Votes to Halt Funding for Sanctuary Cities; Enhance Penalties for Deported Felons That Return to U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) joined his colleagues in passing legislation to protect public safety and enact measures aimed at putting an end to dangerous sanctuary city policies. Latta voted to pass H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority by establishing probable cause standards. Detainers allow ICE to pick up criminal aliens from local jails. The legislation also withholds certain federal grants from jurisdictions that prohibit their law enforcement officers from communicating with ICE, a violation of federal law. It also allows individuals to sue sanctuary jurisdictions if their policies result in them becoming a victim of a crime.

The bill also contains legislation known as Sarah’s Law and Grant’s Law – bills named after victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. In the case of Grant Ronnebeck, he was shot and killed by a criminal alien that was a convicted felon out on bond while awaiting deportation in Arizona. Sarah Root was critically injured by an unlawful immigrant that was driving drunk. The illegal alien in her case was free on bond while Sarah passed away in the hospital, and had left the immediate area. Both perpetrators remain at large. The legislation would provide that a removable alien be detained after they are arrested or charged for a crime that caused the death or serious bodily injury of another person.

“Jurisdictions that implement sanctuary policies are flagrantly violating federal law and putting everyone at risk,” said Latta. “More than that, this legislation is about upholding the rule of law in this country. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will ensure that federal grants are not going to jurisdictions that refuse to follow the law. It also empowers victims by allowing them to sue sanctuary cities when their policies lead to the release of a criminal alien who then commits a crime. It’s time to put an end to these out-of-control sanctuary city policies that have cost the lives of Americans.”

The U.S. House of Representatives also passed H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law, which increases penalties for deported felons that return to the U.S. and also provides greater flexibility to judges to decide between deportation and sentencing criminal aliens to jail. The legislation is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien who had previously been deported five times.

“The passage of Kate’s Law is in remembrance of a young woman whose murder could have been prevented,” said Latta. “Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, her killer, had been convicted of seven felonies and was deported five times, yet he was still able to come back across the border where he found sanctuary in San Francisco. Increasing penalties on deported felons that attempt to return and providing more flexibility within our legal system to lock up dangerous criminal aliens can help ensure a case like this never happens again.”

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