by Caroline May
30 Jul 2015

A pro-amnesty group has launched a petition targeting Senate Democrats who have expressed possible support for legislation to force sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The group,, names Sens. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) as their primary Democrats of concern after those lawmakers signaled support for introducing legislation targeting sanctuary cities. Feinstein and Boxer are reportedly working on legislation to that end.

“We are outraged that Senators Feinstein, Boxer and Durbin are joining forces with Republicans to attack hard working immigrants and their families. We will not stand idly by while senior members of the Democratic Party consider taking dangerous steps that will throw millions of Latinos under the bus,” Arturo Carmona, executive director of said in a statement.

Sanctuary cities have been at the center of immigration debates in recent weeks following the murder of Kathryn Steinle at a San Francisco pier, allegedly by a multiple deportee illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record. The alleged murderer had been released by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department less than three months prior to the killing due to the city’s sanctuary policy of not honoring immigration detainers.

Wednesday released a petition calling on Senate Democrats to reject anti-sanctuary city legislation.

I’m calling on you to reject fear mongering Republican rhetoric and vote against any measure that would attack sanctuary cities. We all recognize that Kate Steinle’s death was a tragedy. But attacking sanctuary cities in general, rather than the specific policy failures that led to her killer’s return to the streets of San Francisco, would punish all undocumented immigrants for one man’s terrible actions. Moreover, it lends credence to the false argument put forward by Donald Trump and other Republicans that the undocumented are inherently dangerous.

An attack on sanctuary cities is an attack on Latino communities everywhere. You must reject such attacks

The petition follows a recent letter to Feinstein and Boxer from a coalition of 50 California civil, immigrant, and workers’ rights groups cautioning the pair against introducing or supporting legislation forcing sanctuary cities into compliance with federal immigration law.

“Senators Feinstein and Boxer should know better than to champion policies that bully localities into a forced arrangement with ICE,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director, National Immigration Law Center said in conjunction with the letter.

“Instead of reactionary policies that continue the failed enforcement-only approach of recent decades, what we need instead is broad, humane, and just immigration reform that presents a long-term solution consistent with our values,” she continued. “California has the most to win or lose from our immigration policies. And we expect our elected officials to promote common-sense solutions that result in immigrant integration, not punitive policies that further marginalize new Californians.”

Last week the House passed legislation that would block certain law enforcement grants to jurisdictions that do not comply with federal immigration authorities.