CHN: Bill to Defund Sanctuary Cities Falls in the Senate

A bill that advocates said would have increased deportations, increased the number of non-violent offenders behind bars and reduced trust in the police failed to pass a procedural hurdle in the Senate last week (54-45; 60 votes were needed). S. 2146 would take taken away funding, including Community Development Block Grant funds that are critical to low-income housing programs and other community needs, from cities that have chosen to limit local police involvement in immigration enforcement. Many immigration, civil rights and labor organizations (including the National Immigration Law Center) opposed the bill, which they said would put mandatory minimum sentences in place, cause mass deportation, and jeopardize public safety.
Introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), the bill came to the Senate floor without the usual process of going through a committee review first. The White House issued a veto threat in advance of the vote, saying the bill would “deny funding for cities to implement a wide range of community development and housing activities.” The White House also noted that, while the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation with strong bipartisan support over two years ago, the House of Representatives failed to take any action.