House Republicans took action Thursday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the cities that shelter them

House passes ‘Kate’s Law’ and bill targeting sanctuary cities

One bill passed by the House would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities and another, Kate’s Law, would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States. 

Kate’s Law, which would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States and caught, passed with a vote of 257 to 157, with one Republican voting no and 24 Democrats voting yes.

Kate’s Law is named for Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman killed by an illegal immigrant who was in the U.S. despite multiple deportations. The two-year anniversary of her death is on Saturday.

“He should not have been here, and she should not have died,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday, in a final push for Kate’s Law, an earlier version of which was blocked in the Senate last year.

The other bill, which would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities, passed with a vote of 228-195 with 3 Democrats voting yes and 7 Republicans voting no.

Many immigration rights groups have characterized efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities as “anti-immigrant,” but Attorney General Jeff Sessions says it is not sound policy to allow sanctuary cities to flout federal immigration laws.

According to Homan, ICE already has arrested nearly 66,000 individuals this year that were either known or suspected to be in the country illegally. Of those arrested, 48,000 were convicted criminal aliens.

Despite the House passage of the two bills on Thursday, Democrats are likely to present a roadblock in the Senate.

Republicans would need at least eight Democrats to break a filibuster on either of the measures. Senate Democrats successfully blocked similar bills in 2015 and 2016.

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