The House on Thursday approved what would be the stiffest immigration crackdown in more than two decades, passing bills that would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and impose stiffer penalties on illegal immigrants who sneak back into the U.S. after having already been deported.
Approval came nearly two years to the day after Kathryn Steinle was slain by an illegal immigrant while walking the waterfront with her father in San Francisco. The approval of the stiff penalties bills were seen as major wins for President Trump. He has given victims of illegal immigrant crimes an unprecedented platform in a debate that has in the past highlighted the illegal immigrants themselves.
Kate’s Law, named after Steinle, would impose a two-year prison sentence on illegal immigrants who have been deported or denied admission to the U.S., but who sneak back in anyway. The goal, backers said, was to try to root out repeat-illegal immigrants who are responsible for a striking string of high-profile crimes.
It cleared on a 257-167 vote, and even garnered support of two dozen Democrats.
The anti-sanctuary city bill, meanwhile, would guarantee local police the ability to work with immigration agents and would curtail lawsuits against communities that do cooperate with Homeland Security. That bill was approved on a near party-line vote, 228-195.