Sen. Colbeck testifies in opposition to sanctuary cities

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Encourages passage of Federal Law HR 3003

LANSING, Mich.State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, testified on Tuesday before the state Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Michigan Senate Concurrent Resolutions 20 and 21.

Sen. Colbeck introduced SCR 21 to encourage passage of HR 3003 by Congress. HR 3003 is also known as the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. Relatedly, SCR 20, introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, encourages passage of HR 3004 by Congress. HR 3004 is also known as Kate’s Law.

In Michigan, five communities have adopted some measure of sanctuary policies. These communities are Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Detroit, Lansing and Washtenaw County.

“Sanctuary is merely a euphemism for ‘do not enforce the law,’” Sen. Colbeck said during his testimony in support of SCR 20 and 21. “The practical implications of sanctuary cities and states is that law enforcement officers are directed by elected officials not to enforce federal law despite these elected officials not having the legal authority to do so. These decisions are typically driven by political considerations that do not include the safety of our citizens.”

Sen. Colbeck cited the tragic death of Kate Steinle as evidence of the very real safety concerns associated with the refusal to enforce U.S. immigration law.

Sen. Schuitmaker also mentioned Steinle’s death in her testimony. “This man should never have been here and Kate should still be with her loved ones,” said Schuitmaker. “Allowing police to report to immigration authorities and detain people who are here illegally should not require legislative action. Many Americans, including myself, find it troubling that cities across the U.S. are not only getting away with knowingly violating federal law, but are also advertising their sanctuary city status.”

Under HR 3003, any individual, spouse or a parent or child of that individual who is the victim of murder, rape or any felony associated with a conviction and sentence of at least one year may bring civil suit against any municipality whose sanctuary policies enabled such a crime. HR 3004 increases the penalties for illegal immigrants who commit criminal offenses in the United States.

Both SCR 20 and SCR 21 were reported favorably to the Michigan Senate floor, where they now await consideration.

 

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