FIRST ON FOX: A Republican lawmaker on the House Homeland Security Committee is introducing legislation to defund sanctuary cities, as he takes aim at liberal mayors and governors who he says are hypocritically demanding taxpayer money to help them with the effects of the migrant crisis.
The “No Funding for Sanctuary Cities Act” is being introduced by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, and would amend federal law so that any jurisdiction that blocks federal immigration enforcement would be ineligible for a range of federal law enforcement grants and any other grant administered by the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice.
It would also require the DHS secretary to report to Congress how many states and localities are not complying with federal immigration enforcement. It says that any funds that are withdrawn from sanctuary jurisdictions can be diverted to those that are in compliance.
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Illegal migrants evacuated from Floyd Bennett Field arrive at James Madison High School on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, New York City during a storm on Jan. 9, 2024 (Gardiner Anderson for NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Sanctuary jurisdictions limit or forbid compliance with federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, they prevent the honoring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, which request that illegal immigrants in custody be transferred to ICE so they can be deported.
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Such jurisdictions also typically present themselves as welcoming to immigrants, including those in the country illegally. But the bill comes as the effects of the three-year migrant crisis at the southern border is having significant effects across the country, including in sanctuary cities like New York City and Chicago.
Subcommittee Chair August Pfluger, R-Texas, blamed “soft-on-crime policies” for the problematic trend in a statement announcing the hearing. (Getty Images)
The mayors of those cities have called for more federal assistance, including $5 billion in aid to help them shelter and care for migrants — including a national decompression strategy to move some of them elsewhere. NYC Mayor Eric Adams has warned that the crisis could “destroy” the city, while Chicago has resorted to sheltering migrants at airports.
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Republicans, including in Texas where Gov. Greg Abbott has been busing migrants to sanctuary cities, have accused those cities of being hypocritical now that they are receiving the migrants they claim to welcome.
“It is the height of hypocrisy that liberal mayors and governors who intentionally flout federal law by declaring themselves ‘sanctuaries’ from immigration laws are now begging the federal government for money to manage President Biden’s border crisis,” Pfluger said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“This bill is simple: any state or locality that prevents the enforcement of immigration laws will not receive a cent from federal taxpayers,” he said.
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Meanwhile, there were over 302,000 migrant encounters in December after an FY 23 where there were more than 2.4 million.