Congressman Lou Barletta’s Bill To Defund Sanctuary Cities

Getting the new year off to a great start.

Time and again our elected political “representatives” on all levels of government have acted in ways that failed to truly represent the best interests of America and Americans.

Time and again my articles have focused on my frustration and anger over how all too many politicians have obstructed the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.

I have written extensively about how members of Congress who supported so-called, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” blithely ignored the findings and, indeed, warnings about the 9/11 Commission by concocting legislation that would provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with official identity documents and lawful status even though there would be no way to conduct interviews or field investigations to screen to combat immigration fraud.  Visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud were identified as key entry and embedding tactics of international terrorists.

“Sanctuary Cities” created by rogue mayors operate in direct opposition of Title 8 U.S. Code § 1324 - (Bringing in and harboring certain aliens), an immigration criminal statute that address harboring, shielding, aiding and abetting, encouraging and inducing aliens to enter the United States illegally and/or remain in the United States illegally after entry.

Today, however, we have cause to be optimistic.  Congressman Lou Barletta who truly represents the citizens of his home town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania and, in so doing, all Americans from coast to coast and border to border has, for the third time, introduced legislation that would strip all federal funding from cities that fail to cooperate fully with immigration law enforcement activities.

I am proud that Lou has become a personal friend.

Prior to his election to Congress he was the mayor of Hazleton.  He was shocked when his peaceful town was, for lack of a better term, invaded by a violent Dominican narcotics-trafficking gang that engaged in drug dealing and violent crimes including murder.

Although he approached the administration of President George W. Bush and asked for federal assistance in confronting these illegal criminal aliens, the administration refused to help.  As a consequence he promulgated the first ordinances that penalized employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens and landlords who would knowingly provide housing to illegal aliens.

He was promptly sued in federal court by advocates for illegal aliens.  I was his final witness at the trial that ensued.

Lou was first elected to Congress in 2011.  He is currently a member of several committees including:

House Homeland Security Committee

Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Lou is certainly an asset to those committees and to America.

On September 3, 2013 I joined Congressman Lou Barletta on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University tat a town hall meeting, covered by C-SPAN, on the topic of “Immigration Policy and Homeland Security.”

The video of the town hall event is well worth watching.  During our discussion, Lou clearly articulated his concerns about how failures of immigration law enforcement have cost all too many innocent victims their lives and leave America and Americans vulnerable to terrorism and crime.

On January 5, 2017 Lou posted a press release with the clear title,  “Barletta's 1st Bill Of 115th Congress: Defund Sanctuary Cities.”

Here is how Lou’s press release begins:

WASHINGTON Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today introduced the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 83, which will stop all federal funds from flowing to states or localities which resist or ban enforcement of federal immigration laws, or flatly refuse to cooperate with immigration officials.  The bill is the first piece of legislation introduced by Barletta in the 115th Congress and represents the third time the congressman has introduced the measure.  In 2011, the bill was the first piece of legislation he ever introduced as a member of Congress.  He introduced it a second time in the 114th Congress in 2015.

“One of the principal duties of the government is to protect its citizens, and the idea of sanctuary cities runs completely counter to that responsibility,” Barletta said.  “Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of the safety of their residents.  This bill will stop that practice by saying to these sanctuary cities, ‘If you refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, you will lose your federal funding.’”

Barletta introduced the bill as a freshman congressman in 2011 because of his personal experience with the danger of sanctuary cities while he was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  In 2006, a 29-year-old local father of three, Derek Kichline, was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been released by law enforcement a number of times, including by the sanctuary city of New York.  Additionally, Barletta was spurred to reintroduce the bill in 2015 following the San Francisco murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, whose accused killer was a seven-time felon who had been deported five times previously.

Although the Obama administration has paid lip service to speak against sanctuary cities, the Obama administration has virtually turned the United States into a “Sanctuary Country” litigating against Arizona and taking other adverse actions against those who would enforce our immigration laws while releasing tens of thousands of criminal aliens who subsequently committed more crimes including homicides and violent assaults.

President-elect Trump made effective immigration law enforcement the cornerstone of his election campaign.  Donald Trump promised he would end Sanctuary Cities, putting the lives of innocent people ahead of the lives of illegal aliens and, in particular, criminal aliens who have been responsible for massive levels of carnage and violence on the streets of American cities.

While Obama would never sign the legislation that Lou proposed in the past, it is a near certainty that Trump would be eager to sign that bill into law thereby helping the soon-to-be president achieve one of his first goals.

All that would remain would be for Congress to pass Lou’s important bill to get it to President Trump’s desk after January 20th.

It is important that you reach out to your member of Congress and insist that he/she supports this vital legislation.

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