There are nearly 500 sanctuary cities nationwide.
These cities publicly ignore federal immigration laws.
But if one conservative Congressman has his way, those cities’ officials will be sent to prison.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has filed a bill that would subject local and state officials to up to five years in prison if they obstruct the enforcement of federal laws, specifically targeting officials who warn about impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
His bill, H.R. 5884, is named the “Mayor Libby Schaaf Act of 2018,” taking its namesake after the Oakland Mayor who made headlines for sending out an alert warning local illegal immigrants of an impending immigration sweep by ICE.
Immigration officials stated that her alert helped hundreds of illegal immigrants escape detention.
If Rep. King’s bill had been in effect, Schaaf would have been criminally liable for essentially acting as, what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement called a “gang lookout” for lawbreakers.
Rep. King isn’t alone in his belief that Schaaf should be punished for her actions; President Donald Trump has also called for her to be prosecuted, along with calling her a “disgrace” during a news briefing.
President Trump calls Libby Schaaf, the Mayor of Oakland CA, a "disgrace"pic.twitter.com/alv4W3eGHw
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) March 9, 2018
California is at the center in the fight against sanctuary cities led by the Trump administration. Led by California Gov. Jerry Brown, and backed by the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature, police in the state are highly limited in the capacity they can cooperate with federal immigration officials.
President Donald Trump has been fighting back against Gov. Brown since his first day in office. At least 14 city councils in the state have sided with Trump, and against the state’s sanctuary city policies.
A number of those cities are backing the Trump administration in a lawsuit against the state of California.
The lawsuit, called a “political stunt” by Gov. Brown, would force state and city officials to cooperate with federal immigration officials. It is being waged by the Department of Justice against the state of California, Gov. Jerry Brown, and the state’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.
“The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated at a law enforcement event in Sacramento “I believe that we are going to win.”
The lawsuit blasts the states laws, stating they “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law.”
It also points out the fact that the state’s laws directly impede cooperation with federal authorities between private entities that want to cooperate, and that it “impede[s] consultation and communication between federal and state law enforcement officials.”
Sanctuary cities are not a new problem, but under the Obama administration, the federal government did little to stop their spread, despite them being intensely unpopular.
The most recent numbers show that there are nearly 500 sanctuary cities nationwide. Those 500 cities are found to have much higher crime rates on average than non-sanctuary cities.
President Donald Trump, being faced with this problem, has done everything in his power to stop it. Rep. King’s bill has the possibility to do what his lawsuit is designed to do.