Congress Takes Aim at Sanctuary Cities, HF Fights Back

On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle tragically lost her life in San Francisco through a senseless act perpetrated by an evil individual. That individual happened to be an undocumented immigrant. In the aftermath of Steinle’s tragic death, anti-immigrant legislators in Congress have sought to use her murder as a political wedge to push through legislation that targets immigrants. They have focused especially on punishing cities across the country that offer sanctuary from the most onerous federal immigration laws.

The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act (S. 1814) would withhold federal law enforcement funding for jurisdictions characterized as “sanctuary cities” that limit interaction between federal immigration agencies and local law enforcement agencies in order to build trust in the community and promote local public safety goals. The legislation forces states and localities to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests, despite their unconstitutionality, in a misguided response to the tragic murder of an innocent woman in San Francisco. It is based on sweeping generalizations about all immigrants based on the actions of one individual, thus scapegoating immigrants, and in particular Latino immigrants.

"Congress must not give in to those who are eager to exploit this senseless and tragic murder to advance their anti-immigrant agenda,” stated José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. "It is the latest appalling attempt to make ‘criminal’ and ‘immigrant’ synonymous, and we condemn any attempts to use this tragedy to tear immigrant families apart and ultimately undermine necessary trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.”

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda released a letter calling for an end to scapegoating immigrants. Please click HERE to read.