A bill that would take away federal grants for law enforcement in so-called “sanctuary cities” drew support from all four Arkansas members of the United States House.
A “sanctuary city” is a name given to a city in the United States that follows certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants.
The House voted 241-179 to approve H.R. 3009, with Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, French Hill, R-Little Rock, Steve Womack, R-Rogers, and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, voting yes.
According to The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., the concept of sanctuary cities has drawn condemnation since the July 1 murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who has been deported five times and has several felony convictions, has been arrested in connection with the murder.
The bill was supported by 235 Republicans and 6 Democrats, while 174 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted no.
Both Hill and Womack said the bill was needed to bring the issue to the forefront.
“As recent events have once again demonstrated, sanctuary cities are dangerous to the well-being of law-abiding citizens, and I fully endorse any legislation that starts the process towards cracking down on sanctuary cities throughout our country,” Hill said. “Our citizens expect both the President and our local leaders to fully enforce our country’s immigration laws. But, there is also a lot more this Congress must do to better secure our border and fix our broken immigration system in a way that meets the expectations of the American people.”
“As a former mayor, I understand firsthand the danger illegal immigration poses to local communities and firmly believe that cities should put the safety and security of its citizens before the interests of those here illegally,” Womack said. “Our immigration system undoubtedly needs reform, but there is absolutely no excuse for harboring and releasing criminal aliens and blatantly skirting federal law. This deliberate lawlessness must stop.”