Alloway introduces Municipal SAFE Act to eliminate “Sanctuary Cities”

Seeking to promote public safety, Senator Rich Alloway (R-33) has sponsored the Municipal Sanctuary and Federal Enforcement Act in the State Senate to encourage municipalities in Pennsylvania to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in their efforts to apprehend persons of interest.

“Sanctuary Cities” are commonly defined as municipalities where officials deliberately ignore requests from the federal government to detain illegal immigrants and do not report the individuals to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation.

Alloway said he introduced his bill after the issue gained national attention when Kathryn Steinle was shot by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico with seven felony convictions who has been deported five times but due to the city of San Francisco’s policy not to report Sanchez’s incarceration to the appropriate federal agency, he was promptly released and Kathryn was killed.

“Though there is no firm definition of a ‘Sanctuary City,’ the common theme among them is that their mayors and other elected officials have resolved to protect illegal immigrants and stop law enforcement officials from enforcing immigration laws,” Alloway said. “This misguided attempt to circumvent federal detainer requests and subsequently jeopardize the safety of citizens legally residing in these communities, is terribly shortsighted.”

Under his bill, governing bodies such as counties or municipalities would be prohibited from adopting rules or ordinances that contradict federal immigration policy. Municipalities that do not enforce federal immigration policy would not be eligible for state grants for law enforcement purposes and could be sued for negligence for releasing an individual with a detainer that subsequently committed another crime.

“Honoring a request from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is a common sense first step toward assisting the federal government in their efforts to enforce current immigration law,” Alloway said. “Many feel that our immigration system is broken and while setting immigration policy is the duty of the federal government, encouraging municipalities to honor federal ICE detainers is something we can do to ensure that current law is enforced and citizens will be protected in Pennsylvania.”

CONTACT: Jeremy Shoemaker 717-264-6100