House Passes Two Bills Against Immigrants & Sanctuaries

Image courtesy of Erlend Bjørtvedt

The House of Representatives passed two bills right before the July 4 Holiday Recess. One bill (H.R. 3004) is being sold as legislation directed against immigrants who commit serious crimes, but its main provision creates very serious criminal penalties for non-criminals who reenter the United States without authorization after being deported. H.R. 3004 allows for imprisonment for up to two years for anyone who has been deported and who subsequently tries to reenter the United States.

The second bill, H.R. 3003 or “No Sanctuary,” is aimed at cities and states that have adopted community-based policing models. These police forces try to create relations of trust with immigrant communities by not functioning as auxilliaries of ICE. They bar police officers from asking victims of crimes and witnesses from asking about the persons immigration status.

The “No Sanctuary” bill bars state and local police officials from prohibiting police from questioning “any individual” regarding “citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, the inadmissibility or deportability” of that person. The person being questioned does not have to be a convicted criminal or even a suspect in a crime. This would block police chiefs from telling members of a rape unit not to ask victims of sexual violence about their current immigration status. This would be an unprecedented interference of the Federal government into the functions of local police departments.

Lee Zeldin voted for both bills. Peter King voted for H.R. 3004, but against H.R. 3003. Rice and Suozzi voted against both bills.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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