The House will vote on two of President Trump's major immigration-related campaign promises next week, Politico reports. Republicans are bringing Kate's Law to the floor, which would raise penalties for immigrants who attempt to re-enter the United States after deportation, along with the No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act, which would raise penalties on sanctuary cities.
Kate's Law didn't make it to the Senate floor last year, but Trump vowed in September to ask Congress to pass the law "to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal re-entry receive strong, mandatory minimum sentences." The law is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant who had a criminal record and had not been turned over to authorities due to sanctuary city protections.
Opponents of Kate's Law say it is a reaction to unfounded fears — research shows that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than people born in the U.S. — and that its five-year mandatory minimum sentence will raise the prison population by an anticipated 57,000 people, a costly toll for taxpayers. "If policies should change, it should not be in reaction to a single tragic murder," the Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh told The Huffington Post.
Trump also vowed in September that "we will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars." The No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act, if passed, would "require that cities and counties comply with orders from federal immigration officials, such as 'detainers' that keep immigrants in jail so they can be picked up for deportation," Politico writes. "It would also bar Homeland Security and Justice Department grants from sanctuary cities that don't comply."
More than 200 states and localities across the U.S. do not honor ICE detention requests. The mayors of many such sanctuary cities have said they will not be intimidated by Trump's warnings. "Local governments seeking to protect their immigrant communities from federal overreach have every right to do so," said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a statement.