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Honorable Mark Sanford

Representing the 1st District of South Carolina

Vote Notes: H.R. 3003 & H.R. 3004, Legislation to Curb Illegal Immigration

Jul 6, 2017
Blog Post

This past Saturday marked two years since the murder of Kathryn Steinle. Kate, as her friends and family called her, was killed in San Francisco by an illegal alien who had been deported five times. He was released by San Francisco police after they refused to honor a request from federal authorities that he be held for an outstanding drug warrant.

I bring this up because last week the House passed a couple of bills that would go a long way in preventing such a tragedy from happening again. I voted in favor of both and would like to tell you a bit more about these two important bills….

The first bill was H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. This bill allows federal agencies like the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to deny sanctuary cities access to at least four grant programs designed to support law enforcement efforts. More specifically, the bill clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority, which allows immigration officials to pick up illegal aliens from local jails. Also, the bill includes Sarah and Grant’s Law, which demands that illegal aliens arrested for a variety of serious crimes be detained during removal proceedings.

Past administrations too often looked the other way when cities like San Francisco refused to apply federal immigration laws. This does not make sense. You and I don’t get to pick and chose which laws we will abide by. I disagree with the amount of taxes I have to pay...but until we change the size and scope of government and the laws that go with it, I am not given licence to not pay them because I disagree with them. That is what the body politic is for...changing what we don't like...and defiance is not the body politic. Law enforcement and the law are to be universal - with equal justice for all. It can not be enforced in patchwork form and still have affect. To do so moves us against the very design of the Founding Fathers - which was that there should be limited government, but the government and law we had would be blind and impartial in the way it was administered.

The second bill was H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law, named after Kate Steinle. This bill would increase maximum jail times for illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crime, deported, and then return illegally to the United States. It also makes it harder for people deported from our country to challenge previous removal orders. The principle here is the same: for laws to have meaning, there must be consequences for not adhering to them.