Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced the “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act” (S. 3100) on June 29. The measure would punish communities that have immigrant “sanctuary” laws and policies in place by stripping them of federal funding provided through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Similar legislation was introduced last fall by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) (See Memo, 10/26/15).
Under the bill, jurisdictions that are designated “sanctuary jurisdiction” would not be eligible to receive CDBG funds and would be required to return funds they have already received. The bill would direct the HUD secretary to redistribute these recouped funds to non-sanctuary jurisdictions based on an allocation formula that excludes sanctuary jurisdictions.
The bill defines a “sanctuary jurisdiction” as a state or political subdivision that has a law, policy, or practice that prohibits or restricts any government entity from:
- sending, receiving, or exchanging with any federal, state, or local government entity information regarding the citizenship or immigration status (lawful or unlawful) of any individual, or information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on any individual’s citizenship or immigration status (lawful, or unlawful); or
- complying with a detainer or a DHS notification request about the release of a person from custody who is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national.
The Senate may vote on the bill as early as Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Read the bill here at: http://bit.ly/29frNFS.
NLIHC has signed onto a coalition letter to the Senate expressing opposition to the bill. The letter states, “While the purported goal of S. 3100 is to make America’s communities more secure, the bill does anything but. Instead, S. 3100 will undermine local efforts to improve the safety and quality of life of residents by depriving communities of CDGB funding needed to undertake initiatives to stabilize neighborhoods and provide decent affordable housing for low income households. Our government should not play politics with communities’ ability to serve their residents by holding essential CDBG funding hostage.”