Senate Approves Legislation Addressing Sanctuary Cities

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HARRISBURG — The Senate approved legislation today that would prevent municipalities from obstructing federal efforts to deport illegal immigrants who pose a danger to Pennsylvania communities.

House Bill 1885 was amended to include language authored by Senator Rich Alloway (R-33) that prohibits governing bodies such as counties or municipalities from adopting rules or ordinances that contradict federal immigration policy. The legislation would require cities and counties to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for persons of interest who are arrested by local authorities.

“If an individual has no legal right to be in our country, and if they prove to be a danger to the community by getting arrested, then it is horribly irresponsible to put that individual back on the streets with a detainer request pending from the federal government,” Alloway said. “This legislation will not affect legal immigrants. It only foils those individuals who are here illegally and wish to do us harm.”

Under the bill, 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 who subsequently committed another crime.

“Ideally, counties and municipalities wouldn’t lose a single dime as a result of this bill,” Alloway said. “Cooperating with federal customs officials is the surest way to accomplish two goals shared by members of both political parties – promoting safer communities and holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

House Bill 1885 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration of Senate amendments.

CONTACT:  Jeremy Shoemaker (717) 787-4651