CHN: Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill Falls in the Senate

Advocates cheered a July 6 vote by the Senate that stopped the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act from advancing. The vote was 53-44, but the bill needed 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle and move forward. The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), would take away funding, including Community Development Block Grant and Economic Development Act funds that are critical to low-income housing programs and many other community needs, from states and localities that have chosen to limit local police involvement in immigration enforcement.

Many immigration, civil rights and housing and community development organizations opposed the bill. The White House also issued a veto threat of the bill, saying the bill would “deny funding for cities to…provide vital public services, including meals to the elderly and affordable child care for low-income, working families” while also leading to “mistrust between communities and State and local law enforcement agencies.” Senator Mark Kirk (IL) was the only Republican to vote against this bill, while Senators Joe Donnelly (IN) and Joe Manchin (WV) were the only two Democrats who voted to advance the bill. The Senate rejected a similar bill sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) last October.