Kemi Bello, ILRC Communications Manager

July 6, 2016                                        

Kemi Bello, kbello [at] ilrc.org, (415) 321-8568

170 Organizations Urge Senators to Oppose Anti-Immigrant Bills that Seek to Undermine Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC— The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), along with 169 other national and state organizations, voiced our strong opposition to the anti-immigrant, enforcement-only Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act (S.3100) and the Stop Illegal Reentry Act (S.2193) in a letter to the U.S. Senate this morning. Both bills are scheduled to be up for a debate in the Senate today. These bills would jeopardize public safety, further damage community trust between police and local residents, and wrack up billions in costs to taxpayers by expanding mandatory minimum sentences.

Senator Toomey’s Stop Dangerous Cities Act would punitively strip federal funding from certain local jurisdictions, often referred to as “sanctuary cities,” that enacted policies to keep local law enforcement from unnecessary involvement in deportations. Senator Cruz’s Stop Illegal Reentry Act (S.2193) would double-down on the failed experiment of mandatory minimum sentences for immigrants who re-enter the country in attempts to reunite with their families. The Center for American Progress and the American Civil Liberties Union have estimated the cost of S.2193 to be at least $3.1 billion dollars.

“These enforcement-only bills represent the Senate’s abdication of its responsibility to modernize our outdated immigration system, provide a roadmap to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented population, and end the criminalization of immigrant communities. Both of these bills would greatly endanger public safety by making it less likely that community members will, report crimes, act as witnesses or be willing to interact with local law enforcement to seek support. Local police should never be in the business of federal immigration enforcement,” stated Jose Magaña-Salgado, Managing Policy Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

The full text of the letter is available here.