The war of words between the Republican Senator Patrick Toomey and his general election opponent Democrat Katie McGinty continues to heat up. This time, the Toomey campaign released a radio ad hitting McGinty over her position on “sanctuary cities.”
A sanctuary city is not a standard legal term. Instead, the term is employed loosely, usually by critics, to describe cities or counties where there is some barrier preventing local law enforcement from working with federal immigration officials. Philadelphia has been considered a sanctuary city under Mayor Kenney.
The sixty-second spot, titled “Clear Difference”, paints McGinty as supporting an extreme and dangerous policy.
As the Toomey campaign points out, the Department of Homeland Security wants Philadelphia to reverse its status. Additionally, former Mayor of Philadelphia and Governor Ed Rendell, who also serves as Katie McGinty’s campaign chair, has argued against Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status.
Toomey called out Mayor Kenney for his actions as soon as he made Philadelphia a sanctuary city.
With presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, immigration and sanctuary cities are likely to remain a big topic for the entire election.
Similarly, the Toomey campaign seemed to have an early focus on law and order. Earlier this year, the Toomey campaign released a TV ad touting the Senator’s support for police when “rioters destroyed American cities.”
Instead of denouncing sanctuary cities as Toomey has, in an interview with WPSU McGinty called the term sanctuary cities “divisive and unnecessarily so.” She rejected the notion that local law enforcement were encouraging a violation of the law.
McGinty said that local law enforcement should not have to shoulder the responsibilities of federal agencies whose job it is to deal with immigration law. She said that as Senator she would work to secure funding for federal agencies so that they could effectively do their job.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race is considered one of the key races that will determine the control of the Senate next year.