The Senate has passed a sweeping bill that would expand the definition of a sanctuary city, granting the president broad new powers to block federal grant money and deny grants to cities that do not comply.
The Senate voted 97-0 Thursday to make sanctuary cities an integral part of the nation’s immigration laws, including allowing federal officials to seize the assets of sanctuary cities and withhold funding from those that do.
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law at a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, the Senate said in a statement.
Sen. Lindsey Graham Lindsey Olin GrahamGOP says they can’t let Trump pick judicial nominee in next Congress Graham’s office says ‘a new chapter’ in the feud between the president and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio Marco Antonio RubioTrump says if he were president, he’d send troops to Syria GOP senator says ‘you’re going to need a big dog’ if you attack Syria Senate GOP leader: ‘You’re going home’ if there’s any doubt about Trump’s commitment to the border’Graham: Trump should be able to deport any undocumented immigrant who has committed a crime’Rubio: ‘There’s no place for racism’ in U.S. Senate Graham: Trump ‘will go to jail’ if he wants to send troops home to fight ISIS’Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeMORE (R-Ariz.) announced the vote early Thursday morning.
Democrats who supported the legislation say it would help reduce crime and give law enforcement greater discretion to protect the safety of the American people.
Trump has repeatedly claimed the bill would “take law enforcement away from local communities and put them in jails.”
He also said the bill’s provisions would force law enforcement to pick up the tab for federal grant funds.
Republicans have called the bill an amnesty bill and say the president should have to reimburse states for lost federal funds.
Senate Democrats voted to include language in the legislation that would require localities to adopt policies to reduce crime, including by implementing new security measures, implementing “sanctuary policies,” and ensuring officers and employees are trained on immigration.
The bill also would prohibit federal grants from being used to provide funds to sanctuary cities.
The legislation also would require states to set up and enforce a “sanctuaries for those who wish to remain in the United States,” including states that have sanctuary policies.
Senators also voted to add language that would allow the president to declare cities or counties in the country as “sanctioned places of detention” and require them to report information on illegal immigration to the government.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBiden: Trump is a ‘fraud’ and ‘traitor’ in Iran deal Schumer: Democrats should be wary of Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) said the legislation is necessary to prevent Trump from violating the law and prevent his executive orders from being implemented.
“The president is taking executive orders at a time when our national security and economic security is at stake,” Schumer said.
“The president has been trying to undermine our law enforcement system and our constitutional order for years.
He is violating our laws and he needs to be held accountable for his unconstitutional actions.”
Democrats argued that the bill does not go far enough to combat the threat of illegal immigration.
They said the measure is not strong enough to prevent ICE from using its prosecutorial discretion to arrest people who pose no threat to the public and to detain people who have committed no crime.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell GOP leaning toward Arizona Senate candidate in 2020 GOP Senate candidate could become next Senate Republican leader after Trump signs legislation into law