The PJ Tatler

White House Threatens to Veto Funding Block for Sanctuary Cities

The White House issued a veto threat this morning on House legislation that blocks State Criminal Alien Assistance Program funding for jurisdictions acting as “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants.

The Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, initially introduced four years ago by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), comes to the House floor for debate today.

“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3009,” the Office of Management and Budget said this morning. “This bill fails to offer comprehensive reforms needed to fix the Nation’s broken immigration laws, undermines current Administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals and to work collaboratively with State and local law enforcement agencies, and threatens the civil rights of all Americans by authorizing State and local officials to collect information regarding any private citizen’s immigration status, at any time, for any reason, and without justification.”

“…The Administration also believes the most effective way to enhance public safety is through sensible and effective policies that focus enforcement resources on the most significant public safety threats. The Administration has put in place new enforcement priorities that do just that, focusing limited resources on the worst offenders – national security threats, convicted criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers. The effectiveness of these new priorities depends on collaboration between Federal, State, and local law enforcement.”

The White House argued that Congress should give the Department of Homeland Security’s Priority Enforcement Program “a chance to work, instead of displacing that collaborative approach—which prioritizes the worst offenders—with the coercive approach of this bill, which makes no such differentiation.”

“Finally, the bill would condition Federal money on State and local governments allowing their law enforcement officials to gather citizenship and immigration status information from any person at any time for any reason,” the veto threat continued. “The Administration believes that such blanket authority would threaten the civil rights of all Americans, lead to mistrust between communities and State and local law enforcement agencies, and impede efforts to safely, fairly, and effectively enforce the Nation’s immigration laws.”