Rick Perry: Cut Off Federal Crime Grants to Sanctuary Cities

by Jim Geraghty

This afternoon, Rick Perry issued a statement and offered a proposal on “sanctuary cities” that instruct their police department to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“In Texas, we have a long history of welcoming immigrants from all over the world, immigrants who have helped make our economy the strongest in the country.  It’s not fair that some people try to jump the immigration line by coming across our border illegally. One of the core responsibilities of the federal government is to secure the border. As the recent tragedy in San Francisco has shown us, it’s important for the federal government and local governments to be able to cooperate to apprehend illegal immigrants with criminal histories. San Francisco—and many other cities in America run by left-wing governments—have become ‘sanctuary cities’ that choose to openly defy U.S. immigration law and prevent cooperation with federal authorities. Perversely, the federal government subsidizes this behavior by sending Justice Department funds to cities that intentionally harbor illegal immigrants in their jails. This has to end.”

“Today, I am proposing to pull funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program—or SCAAP—from sanctuary cities. States with sanctuary cities will lose a proportionate amount of their SCAAP funding as well. SCAAP funding will also be restricted to jurisdictions that actively participate in immigration law enforcement programs. Cities and counties with sanctuary policies in place will also be prohibited from applying for federal law enforcement or Department of Homeland Security grants. Federal taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the irresponsible behavior of these governments. Furthermore, the Justice Department should allow federal immigration officials, either through the executive branch or Congressional action, to have access to prisons and holding facilities in sanctuary cities and counties, so as to verify the immigration status of people in those facilities.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is attempting to reassure liberal allies that her criticism of San Francisco in her CNN interview doesn’t mean she no longer supports “sanctuary cities.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign sought to make clear she supports sanctuary cities following criticism on San Francisco’s release of an immigrant here illegally who is accused of shooting and killing a woman.

“Hillary Clinton believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, a campaign spokeswoman, in a statement made public Thursday. “As she made clear, this particular individual should not have been on the streets…She believes that we need a system where people like this don’t fall through the cracks and that is why she continues to fight for comprehensive immigration reform.”

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