WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today voted in favor of the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S.2146), legislation cosponsored by Inhofe that would prevent federal grants from going to sanctuary jurisdictions and would redirect the funds to compliant jurisdictions. S.2146 was blocked by Senate Democrats on a cloture vote of 54 to 45.
“As a cosponsor of the Stop Sanctuary Polices and Protect Americans Act, I whole heartedly support this legislation and am disappointed to see the Democrats block another common sense bill,” said Inhofe. “The purpose of federal law enforcement grants is to, of course, enforce the law. Jurisdictions choosing to ignore federal laws should not be eligible for federal grants, especially when many of these criminals that are released go on to commit more crimes, creating more victims. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make progress in stopping liberal and dangerous immigration policies.”
The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S.2146) has been endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association of Police Organizations and the National Sheriffs’ Association. S.2146 would require states and localities to honor immigration detainers. Jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal agencies and do not comply with immigration laws would not be eligible for certain federal grants. Local law enforcement officers that comply with an immigration detainer would have the same liability protections as a Department of Homeland Security agent. S.2146 also provides for increasing the penalties for re-entry of a removed alien.
On Jan. 29, Inhofe introduced Keep Our Communities Safe Act (S.291), with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The legislation would close the legal loophole created by the U.S. Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States any immigrant that has not been accepted for deportation to their home country after being detained for six months. This practice is commonly referred to as “catch and release.”
Inhofe is also an original cosponsor of Sessions’ Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (S.1640). This bill would address many aspects of immigration enforcement, including authorizing state and local governments to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, barring sanctuary jurisdictions from receiving certain federal grants and providing additional resources and support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.