WASHINGTON, D.C. (LOOTPRESS) – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and other colleagues to reintroduce the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act, legislation that holds sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for failing to comply with lawful detainer and release notification requests made by federal authorities and jeopardizing public safety.
The legislation creates a private right of civil action for the victims of sanctuary jurisdictions, allowing them to bring an action for compensatory damages against the sanctuary jurisdiction as a result of a violent crime committed by an illegal immigrant. Any sanctuary city or jurisdiction that refuses to waive its immunity as it relates to sanctuary-related civil action would be subject to the withholding of certain Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
“We must make certain that there is effective communication between our law enforcement community and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Ignoring the rule of law leads to senseless tragedy, and those responsible must be held accountable. I’m pleased to reintroduce this legislation with my colleagues to pursue justice on behalf of victims in sanctuary cities,” said Senator Capito.
In addition to Senators Capito and Tillis, the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.).
Provisions of the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act of 2021include:
Defining a “Sanctuary Jurisdiction”:
· The legislation defines a sanctuary jurisdiction as any state or political subdivision (including a county or city) that has a statute, ordinance, policy, or practice that restricts a government official or entity from receiving or maintaining information about the immigration status of an individual, including refusing to comply with lawful detainer requests made by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the notification of the release of an illegal immigrant. A jurisdiction would not be deemed a “sanctuary jurisdiction” based solely on policies where officials do not share information or comply with detainers for illegal immigrants who come forward as a victim or a witness to a criminal offense.
Establishing civil action for the victims or family members of crimes committed by illegal immigrants benefitting from a sanctuary policy:
· The legislation establishes a private right of action for any individual, spouse, or child who is a victim of a violent crime or felony that was a result of a sanctuary jurisdiction failing to comply with a lawful request made by the DHS and refused to comply with a detainer or notify DHS about the release of an illegal immigrant.
Withholding grant funding for jurisdictions that refuse to comply with lawful requests:
· The legislation requires any state or political subdivision of a state to waive immunity as it relates to sanctuary-related civil action as a condition of receiving Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG) and certain Economic Development Administration grants. The failure to waive immunity on sanctuary-related civil action will result in the withholding of grants for public works, grants related to planning administrative expenses, and grants for training, research, and technical assistance.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.