The U.S. House this week approved an amendment offered by U.S. Reps. Steve King of Iowa and John Campbell of California that King claims will help enforce federal immigration laws.
The amendment, as part of H.R. 5441, the Department of Homeland Security funding bill for Fiscal Year 2007, would refuse federal funding for states and localities that have sanctuary policies to harbor illegal aliens.
The amendment would help the federal government enforce current law that makes it illegal for state and local governments to prevent their police officers from checking immigration status of foreign nationals that they encounter.
Oftentimes, local and state law enforcement will come across illegal aliens when apprehending criminals, King said, but local rules prevent them from following federal law and reporting criminal illegal aliens to the feds.
"No police officer should be barred from contacting federal immigration authorities abut a criminal alien suspect," said King. "Victims would not have to endure a violent or sexual crime by a criminal alien, who had already come in contact with local police, if those police officers had been allowed to do their jobs and contact federal authorities."
Campbell said cities that provide sanctuary "jeopardize national security and the safety of citizens in other cities."
H.R. 5441 offers funds to strengthen border security, port security, increased cargo screening, and disaster preparedness as indicated by Hurricane Katrina, according to King.