On October 20, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146) was blocked from advancing in the Senate. The bill, introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA), would strip federal funding provided through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program from communities that have immigrant “sanctuary” laws and policies in place.
Democrats blocked the bill from advancing by all voting against cloture. The vote was 54-45. There is a 60 vote threshold needed to invoke cloture, which allows the Senate to debate and vote on final passage of the bill. Without cloture, the Senate Democrats would have filibustered the bill.
The bill defines a “sanctuary city” as a state or unit of general local government that: 1) has a law, policy, or practice that prohibits or restricts sending to or receiving information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on any individual’s citizenship or immigration status, lawful, or unlawful, or 2) fails to comply 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.
NLIHC organized a letter to the Senate expressing opposition to the bill. The letter was signed by more than 45 national, state, and local organizations, and municipalities. The letter states, “While the purported goal of S. 2146 is to make America’s communities more secure, the bill does anything but. Instead, S. 2146 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.”
Read the Coalition letter here: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/LTR_opposing-sanctuary-cities-billl-S2146_100815_1.pdf