SENATOR DAVID VITTER ON THE SENATE FLOOR – STOP SANCTUARY CITIES – SEE HOW YOUR SENATOR VOTED

SENATOR DAVID VITTER ON THE SENATE FLOOR –

STOP SANCTUARY CITIES –

SEE HOW YOUR SENATOR VOTED

United States Senator David Vitter (Republican – Louisiana) spoke on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to support his legislation, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, which would withhold certain federal funding from sanctuary states or cities that fail to comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued detainer requests for illegal aliens. The bill would redirect these funds to states and localities that follow the law.

 

SEE HOW YOUR SENATORS VOTED ON SANCTUARY CITIES

Kelsey Harkness /

Senate Democrats blocked legislation that would punish “sanctuary cities” in a 54-45 vote Monday afternoon.

The bill, called the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, needed to overcome a 60-vote threshold. It would withhold certain federal funding from states or cities that refuse to comply with requests from federal immigration officials to turn over immigrants who are in the country illegally.

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Sen. David Vitter, R-La., introduced the legislation, which includes a provision known as Kate’s Law, named after 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who was fatally shot in San Francisco on July 1. The bill would impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five years for illegal immigrants who are convicted of re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony or have three strikes for trying to enter the country illegally.

“It’s maddening that the Democrats are encouraging sanctuary cities like New Orleans that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement and let dangerous criminal illegals free,” Vitter said in a statement after the bill failed.

Vitter has been pushing to defund sanctuary cities since 2007, when he served as chairman of the Border Security Caucus.

Sanctuary policies vary from state to state, but they generally prevent local authorities from cooperating with federal immigration officers, allowing those localities to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. There are currently 340 sanctuary cities in the United States, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

The issue of sanctuary cities gained national attention when Steinle was killed this summer by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had seven prior felony convictions in the U.S. and had been deported to Mexico five separate times. He was released from a San Francisco jail in April under a city law barring the jail’s deputies from informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of his release, despite the agency’s previous notification request.

Opponents of the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act question the taxpayer cost of implementing mandatory minimums at a time when Congress is working to reform the criminal justice system. Some, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., even mocked the legislation, calling it the “Donald Trump Act.”

“This Donald Trump Act was designed to demonize immigrants and spread the myth that they are criminals and threats to the public,” Reid said on Monday.

During his bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Trump highlighted Steinle’s death as an example of why the country needs stricter immigration policies.

In July, the White House issued a veto threat on similar legislation that passed in the House, saying the measure “undermines current administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals.”

Earlier this month, the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that supports reduced immigration, identified the 340 cities, counties, and states that are considered sanctuary locations.

(Photo: Center for Immigration Studies)

A government report commissioned for Congress by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that sanctuary cities released more than 9,000 illegal immigrants whom federal authorities were seeking to deport between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2014. As of last year, 69 percent of those were still at large in the United States.

Of those still at large, 1,377 had another criminal arrest that resulted in the detainer. Of the 6,460 criminal aliens who were still at large during the time period studied, 3,802 (58 percent) had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.

Machine Transcript

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senator from louisiana Thank You mr. president was present high rise again
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today in strong support of the stop sanctuary policies and protect Americans
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will be voting on that later today I was here on the floor yesterday laying out
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the strong case in support of that talking to many many colleagues before
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this vote today as I have been for the past several days and today I rise to
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focus on some arguments from the other side that are erroneous and misleading
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quite frankly to debunk the so that everyone has the whole the true the
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clear picture of why this legislation is so needed this president first I’ve
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heard a few of my colleagues talked about the need for federal and local
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authorities to do a better job of working together for instance Senator
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Durbin and just left the floor said quote federal and local authorities must
1:00
do a better job of communicating and coordinating so that undocumented
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immigrants with serious criminal records are detained and deported
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close quote some early senator Feinstein said quote it is very clear to me that
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we have to improve cooperation between local state and federal law enforcement
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close mister president let me say that I completely agree with them and they are
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laying out a strong case for this legislation against it because we need
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to do something about the cause of the non-cooperation the obstacle between
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that full cooperation that absolutely needs to happen every day simply wishing
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for a better outcome isn’t gonna make that happen
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the fact of the matter is there are dozens and dozens of sanctuary cities
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jurisdictions that have those policies that were co-operating in the past but
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want to cooperate but they have been
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faced with lawsuits from the ACLU and others
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court decisions that local law enforcement officials could be held
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liable for violating an individual’s constitutional rights simply for
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honoring a detainer requests from ice now that’s ridiculous
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that’s an abuse and our legislation on the floor today is going to remove that
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the stop sanctuary policies and protect Americans Act allows for about
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cooperation between local and federal authorities to resume again because
2:43
section 4 of the bill will facilitate state and local compliance with the ice
2:50
detainers and remove that owners and unreasonable threat cooperation has been
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stifled by lawsuits aimed at bullying local law enforcement and this bill
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would grant local law enforcement the authority to clearly comply with ice
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detainers without product liability it’ll protect them from that liability
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for simply complying with ice detainers and I’ll remind my colleagues that will
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do nothing to infringe on an individual’s civil or constitutional
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rights they still have the same ability to pursue those against tyson anyone
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else they choose that’s why this legislation is supported by people who
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know something about what needs to happen for local and federal authorities
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to cooperate whom I talking about the Federal Law Enforcement Officers
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Association they know what they’re talking about the International Union of
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police associations they live it every day
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the National Association of police organizations and the National Sheriff’s
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Association think they know what’s needed on the ground they do and because
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they do they strongly support this legislation now second
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mister president some argument some colleagues on the other side
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argue that this bill won’t do anything instead we need so-called comprehensive
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immigration reform like again have a bill but mister president the gang of
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eight bill that my colleagues are portion twelve hundred pages long run it
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past the senate it didn’t do anything to resolve this issue of sanctuary cities
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it didn’t do anything to change the abusive lawsuits I’m talking about it
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didn’t do anything to encourage federal and local authorities to cooperate in
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real time
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absolutely nothing and that’s just the fact of the matter once you reach the
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twelve hundred pages all the gang of a bill does is lead with a big amnesty and
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Amnesty overnight to about 11 million illegal immigrants in our country today
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so that comprehensive immigration reform bill gang of a bill whatever you want to
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call it does nothing in this area that is so crucial to fix does nothing about
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sanctuary cities does nothing to remove these abusive lawsuits obstacles to the
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clear and full cooperation between federal state and local authorities but
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even folks on the other side of the bill at MIT needs to happen and is a problem
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right now mister president there are a lot of these myths about our bill versus
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the facts and so with that in mind this president has unanimous consent to
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submit for the record a myth vs fact sheet that lays out clearly the Mets
6:01
arguments made against this legislation and the real facts of the stop
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sanctuaries policies act s 21:46
6:11
without objection thank you let me highlight the two biggest ones and the
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first one is that our legislation would somehow
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punish and make it more difficult for illegal persons to report crimes and
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cooperate with local law enforcement that is a pure and what’s the fact of
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the matter
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well read the bill as I’m hurting people suggest read the bill are bill us 2146
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specifically provides that if a jurisdiction has a policy that local law
6:48
enforcement will not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims or
6:53
witnesses that jurisdiction will not be deemed as a sanctuary jurisdiction it
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will not lose federal funds over that so that argument is simply omit the second
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argument often made is that somehow this legislation is requiring local law
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enforcement to carry out federal immigration responsibilities again a
7:17
Purim in a purely erroneous argument that if you read the bill as 2146 you’ll
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see is simply not the bill does not require local law enforcement quote to
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carry out federal immigration responsibilities close quote in any way
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shape or form
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removing illegal immigrants remains the exclusive province of the federal
7:42
government the bill simply withhold certain federal funds from jurisdictions
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that prohibit exactly the cooperation that our opponents on the other side say
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is so necessary incorrectly say it’s necessary so that again is the fact of
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the matter versus the myth that’s being propagated again we have several miss vs
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facts as part of the record and I urge everyone search starting with our
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colleagues democrats and republicans the study that careful mister president this
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is an important issue
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sanctuary cities are in real problem and we need to fix that problem to move
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forward so I urge my colleagues to look carefully at this issue what’s driving
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the sanctuary cities policy or legislation
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will take up his drivers as obstacles will solve those problems will result in
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the cooperation at all levels of law enforcement that we desperately need so
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I urge my colleagues to the yes later today so we can push forward with this
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important and critical legislation and mister president would suggest the
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absence of a quorum

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