House Bills Could Harm Public Safety

Communications Associate

June 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House of Representatives is considering bills related to immigration that would affect local law enforcement’s ability to keep communities safe and open the door to an increase in costly immigrant detention.

The “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” (H.R. 3003) would force jurisdictions to honor immigration detainers, prohibit community trust policies and expand mandatory detention for a broader array of offenses.

In a Tuesday op-ed in The Hill, Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, urges Congress to consider the perspectives of local law enforcement when considering any legislation targeting so-called sanctuary policies.

A Wednesday letter to Congress from 40 police chiefs and sheriffs who are members of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force addresses concerns with legislation that would impose “one-size-fits-all” policies on state and local law enforcement and get in the way of their efforts to keep communities safe.

The Fraternal Order of Police also sent a letter to House leadership opposing any legislation that would seek to impose policy changes at the local level by withholding federal funding from law enforcement.

“Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004) would increase criminal penalties for immigrants who re-enter the U.S. without authorization after being deported previously, with enhanced penalties ranging from 2 to 25 years.

Re-entry is already a criminal offense to which the federal government devotes significant resources. The bill would make no exceptions for people who are seeking asylum.

“We all want to live in safe communities. But we cannot achieve a sense of security by cultivating fear,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Members of Congress should reject polarizing legislation that would obstruct the efforts of local law enforcement, waste resources and do nothing to keep us safer.”