PA-Sen: Toomey’s Sanctuary City Bill To Get a Vote
The Senate will soon vote on a bill authored by Toomey that would deny funding for cities that do not notify the federal government when people eligible for deportation are released from prison.
That body voted on a bill containing Toomey’s provision last October. At that time, however, Toomey’s provision was joined with another provision backed by Senators Ted Cruz and David Vitter which would also impose a mandatory minimum sentence for some people caught in the United States after they had previously been deported.
That bill failed on a nearly party line vote with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, as well as Joe Donnelly and Joe Manchin, Democrats from Indiana and West Virginia respectively, were the only Senators to cross party lines.
This time around, the Senate will vote on the two provisions separately. Some Republicans are hopeful that more Democrats will be willing to vote for Toomey’s provision now that it is not tied to the mandatory minimum sentences.
Toomey started his crusade against sanctuary cities this past January when Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney restored Philly’s status as a sanctuary city.
“Sanctuary cities such as Philadelphia refuse to cooperate with the federal government in locating suspected terrorists who are in their custody and are in the country illegally,” Toomey said. “This refusal is simply inexcusable in light of the growing threat from violent Islamist extremism and recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, and elsewhere.”
Katie McGinty has rejected Toomey’s argument that sanctuary cities are a threat, calling the term simply a “buzz word” that won’t solve the problem. Instead, she has said that she would work to boost law enforcement funding.