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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    As cities look to defy Trump on immigration, Rep. Lou Barletta fires back a warning s

    As cities look to defy Trump on immigration, Rep. Lou Barletta fires back a warning shot


    Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., gets on an elevator after arriving for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    By Colin Deppen
    on January 05, 2017 at 11:00 AM, updated January 05, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    With immigration policy dominating the national discourse headed into President-elect Donald Trump's first term in office, a handful of American cities have vowed to defy attempts by his administration to crack down on undocumented immigrants and to ramp up deportations.

    This includes Pittsburgh, which has said it's considering a formal "Sanctuary City" declaration, and Philadelphia, which already has one.

    Against this backdrop, Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA-11) this week reintroduced legislation that would "stop all federal funds from flowing to states or localities which resist or ban enforcement of federal immigration laws, or flatly refuse to cooperate with immigration officials," as sanctuary cities do.

    This is Barletta's third introduction of the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, and it marks the first piece of legislation introduced by him this congressional year. His previous introductions of the bill occurred in 2011 and 2015.

    Barletta, who came out as an early supporter of Trump's presidential bid last year, has himself been a lightning rod on the subject of illegal immigration long before the Trump campaign.

    While mayor of Hazelton in 2006, Barletta proposed a crackdown on landlords and businesses engaged in the "hiring or harboring of illegal aliens."

    At the time, supporters of the measure sought to link an influx of undocumented immigrants with the city's lagging tax base and an uptick in violent crime and drug dealing.

    Barletta's proposal quickly plunged the city -- and his office -- into controversy, conflict and issues of constitutionality, all until an appeals court later invalidated the law following a legal challenge by the ACLU.

    But Barletta has remained outspoken on the issue and on the subject of sanctuary cities in particular. The Congressman was even named to Trump's transition team after the election, but ultimately turned down an offer of a cabinet post, reports indicated.

    Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Toomey -- who failed to endorse Trump outright -- has urged the president-elect to take executive action targeting sanctuary cities, like Philadelphia, for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Toomey has also called for federal grant funding to those cities to be withheld.

    But a growing list of American cities have said they plan to defy any mass deportation push by Trump, regardless of the consequences.

    This includes Boulder, Colorado, which formally declared itself a "Sanctuary City" this week in direct defiance of the president-elect.

    Existing sanctuary cities like Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia have also vowed to remain as such under the Trump administration.

    And if Trump follows through on the toughest aspects of his immigration platform, it could mean a host of local-federal showdowns in the years to come.

    If that's the case, Barletta says he wants consequences in place.

    "One of the principal duties of the government is to protect its citizens, and the idea of sanctuary cities runs completely counter to that responsibility," Barletta said in a statement announcing the reintroduction of his bill.

    "Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of the safety of their residents. This bill will stop that practice by saying to these sanctuary cities, 'If you refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, you will lose your federal funding.'"

    Echoing Trump campaign talking points on the subject, Barletta pointed to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in calling for tougher restrictions. He held up 29-year-old Derek Kichline of Hazelton and 32-year-old Kate Steinle of San Francisco as examples of the victims of current policy loopholes.

    "Twice before I have introduced this bill, and twice before there was not the political will to pass it," Barletta said. "With the Trump Administration taking office later this month, and with enforcing immigration law becoming a priority, I am hopeful we will meet with success this time around. It's time we stopped seeing headlines about the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants."

    Critics, meanwhile, say the vast majority of immigrants, both documented and otherwise, are law abiding.

    If adopted, Barletta's Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act would prohibit any federal funding for a minimum period of one year to any state or local government which has a policy or law that prevents them from assisting immigration authorities in enforcing federal immigration law.

    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) lists about 300 such localities and sanctuary cities in the United States.

    Barletta's bill directs the attorney general to compile an annual list of such cities and issue a report on any particular state or locality upon request from a member of Congress. A state or local government would only regain federal funding eligibility after the attorney general certifies that its laws and policies are in compliance with federal immigration statutes.

    Trump has said his deportations would target the criminal element among undocumented immigrants, while immigration activists fear reality would reflect a far less disciplined approach.

    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/01/post_95.html
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    It is good to keep seeing news about Lou Barletta and his ongoing fight against illegal immigration. No one should rent to, hire, aid and abet illegal aliens as he fought against while Mayor of Hazleton.

    I believe there will be political will going forward on sanctuary cities. They need to cease operation.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 01-05-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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