AILA: Senate Retread of Bad Legislation Would Undermine Public Safety and Harm Communities

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org
Belle Woods
202-507-7675
bwoods@aila.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), urged lawmakers to oppose two bills that would undermine public safety and due process. The bills being considered in the Senate today, S. 3100, the “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act” and S. 2193, the “Stop Illegal Reentry Act,” are in fact nearly identical to last year’s S. 2146, which the Senate already rejected.

AILA President William A. Stock noted, “These two bills take away local control over local law enforcement policy and were rejected by the Senate last year. S. 3100 actually undermines local policing efforts designed to foster trust between police and residents in order to root out crime and encourage victims to come forward, overriding the judgment of these law enforcement leaders about how best to keep our communities safe.”

Among other things, the bills would:

  • Force local police to become immigration enforcement agents by threatening to withhold millions of dollars in federal grants that localities need for economic development, schools and hospitals. This mandate would lead to an erosion of trust in local police, lessening the likelihood that victims and witnesses of crimes will come forward and report crimes.
  • Impose harsh mandatory sentences on immigrants who re-enter, removing the ability of judges and prosecutors to consider other factors and make appropriate determinations.

Mr. Stock concluded, “At a time when our country desperately needs bipartisan leadership from Congress on immigration reform, these two bills are emblematic of why we still don’t have a workable system. Instead of introducing impractical bills further federalizing our local police, we need leaders to come together and design an immigration system that recognizes the age in which we live and the needs of today. Neither of these bills gets us closer to that end.”

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16070603.