PA-Sen: McGinty to Kenney: Change Philly’s Sanctuary City Policy

McGinty-PhillyAs Pat Toomey’s bill to end federal funding for sanctuary cities came up for a vote in the U.S. Senate, the challenger for his seat wrote to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney asking him to review the city’s immigration policies.

Democrat Katie McGinty said she was concerned when Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said there has not been an open dialogue between federal immigration agents and Philadelphia law enforcement officials over the last year.

Shortly after taking over the Mayor’s office in January, Kenney reinstated a city-wide policy blocking police and prison officials from informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when undocumented prisoners are scheduled for release, Chris Brennan of the Inquirer reports.

McGinty told Kenney to support “robust communication and partnership” between Philadelphia law enforcement officials and their federal counterparts in an effort to ensure public safety and that “violent criminals, suspected terrorists or others who pose a threat are apprehended and prosecuted.”

The “daughter of a policeman” and “granddaughter of Irish immigrants” said repeated failures in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform has “hamstrung” law enforcement departments that are already under-resourced and over-worked and called Toomey’s track record for providing proper support to these agencies “particularly troubling.”

The lack of adequate funding for agencies serving large populations, like Philadelphia, leads police departments to focus their efforts on reducing violent crimes and away from pursuing and prosecuting people who violate federal immigration law.

“Philadelphia and many other municipalities have been dubbed ‘sanctuary cities’ because of the decision to prioritize immediate, local law enforcement issues ahead of taking on the added burden of carrying federal immigration responsibilities,” McGinty wrote. “As I’ve said before, ‘sanctuary cities’ are not the answer to our complex law enforcement and immigration reform problems, but reflect this needed prioritization of public safety.”

Toomey’s Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act was rejected by a 53-44 vote in the Senate on Wednesday, along with former presidential contender and TX Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to set a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for people illegally reentering the country after an aggravated felony conviction.

Toomey’s bill would have barred sanctuary cities from applying for Community Development Block Grants, budgeted at $3 billion for 2016, according to the Inquirer.

PA municipalities stand to receive almost $170 million from block grants this year.

14 Responses

  1. I am virtually blown off my feet by Middle Class, Veterans, and Social Security people who could ever support Toomey for Senate. In 51/2 years Toomey has done nothing for these people. Toomey’s record in the Senate for average people could have been duplicated by an Empty Lawn Chair. Now if you are a millionaire or billionaire Toomey is your guy. Anyone else that votes for him doesn’t know the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Vote for change. Dump Toomey.

  2. Montco PA Dem…..Your unsupported fantasy comments in another area of this site about the militarization of suburban police departments needs to be noted here so others know that your comments may not factual. I would consider suspect anything you say unless you provide the requisite proof. Your apparent bias towards law enforcement through your posts must also be noted and evaluated in any posting you make. What a shame that it took the death of 5 Dallas police officers for you to realize the stupidity of your argument. At least you offered your prayers yet I know not who you may pray too.

  3. So McG has to look like she agrees with PT on sanctuary cities because she’s losing big time law enforcement suppport. wonder what other platforms she’ll trash to try to win the center T vote.

  4. “ICE Director Saldaña Admits Dramatic Decline in Criminal Alien Deportations

    Testifying last week before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the Obama administration’s lax interior enforcement policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña admitted a dramatic decline in criminal alien deportations. ….Sessions was not satisfied, noting that her agency’s budget for deportation was increased from $2.6 billion in 2011 to $3.4 billion this year, and that the government even returned part of that allotment. (Id.) Summing up the hearing, Sessions said the decline in removals “demonstrated the failure of our system, when the one area that we were promised was going to be aggressively pursued was criminal aliens, and that is plummeting also. So there’s nothing really working effectively.”
    Criminal immigrants reoffend at higher rates than ICE has suggested
    Goodlatte: Administration’s Record of Releasing Criminal Aliens Has Gone from Bad to Worse

    Obama’s Budget Would Stop Reimbursing Prisons For Holding (Convicted) Illegal Immigrants

  5. Here’s what Law Enforcement really think of Obama’s “Priorities” of deporting Illegal Aliens Criminals:
    National Sheriffs’ Association Position Paper on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    The National Sheriffs’ Association’s press release reaffirmed organization’s stance articulated in its 2013 position paper on immigration policy. (Id.)In the paper, the Association advocated for effective and efficient securing of the border, enforcement of the immigration laws currently on the books, requiring information sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, withholding federal reimbursement money from jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, and strengthening employer verification requirements, among other things. (National Sheriff’s Association, Jun. 25, 2013) The paper concluded, “The National Sheriffs’ Association strongly opposes outright amnesty for those individuals currently here illegally. Amnesty does not work. When granted in 1986, it did little to stop the flow of illegal individuals from coming across the borders and, in fact, contributed to thousands of fraudulent applications for amnesty.”
    Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson

    “No longer can we sit idle while the inaction of our Federal Government marginalizes our ability to preserve public safety, enforce our laws, and protect the Constitutional rights of all who legitimately reside and work in our communities.”
    Sacramento sheriff criticizes Obama on immigration

    “Jones vowed to crusade against illegal immigration after the shooting rampage last month by a Mexican man with a long criminal history who was in the country illegally.”
    BREAKING: Pier 14 Murder Suspect Had Been Deported 5 Times with 7 Felonies

    “Five-time deportee and seven-time convicted felon Francisco Sanchez has been jailed on suspicion of shooting and killing 31-year-old Kathryn Steinle Wednesday evening while taking photos with her father at Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. Sanchez was freed after the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department refused to honor a request by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain him, following a policy adopted in 2014. He was arrested soon after the shooting.”
    By The Way, Ice Just Release 30,558 More Violent Criminal Illegal Aliens Onto American Streets
    ICE Document Details 36,000 Criminal Alien Releases in 2013
    U.S. misinformed Congress, public on immigrant release
    DHS document: 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions released in 2013
    Thousands of Illegal Immigrants Released — Including 3,000 With Felony Charges or Convictions

  6. Jason, you’re mischaracterizing the cloture vote on Toomey’s bill. It was not rejected by a 53-44 vote. His bill did not receive a 60-vote supermajority to advance.

  7. This is the ABSOLUTE wrong thing for her to be doing. This was a hard won victory for people who care about undocumented folks. Kind of in shock and tone deaf about how bad this is.

  8. If this botched Toomey campaign thus far is your idea of ass kicking, he’s the Senate’s version of Scott Norwood.

  9. Toomey is kicking McGinty’s ass all over the place. It’s almost like he planned this months ago.

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