State Politics

New Rep. Labrador bill targets sanctuary cities, would allow crime victims to sue them

Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador introduced an immigration bill Tuesday that would target sanctuary city policies, presenting it as a “robust immigration enforcement bill” in an emailed statement.

Such cities limit their cooperation with federal authorities who enforce immigration law, including possibly not honoring immigration detainers placed on people in jail who commit unrelated offenses. Among other policies, the bill would allow residents of a sanctuary city to sue that city if they are the victim of a crime committed by someone illegally in the country, according to highlights provided by the House Judiciary Committee.

Labrador, Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee vice chairman, and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., introduced the bill.

The bill would also withhold federal grants from jurisdictions that “refuse to honor” detainers and that prohibit local law enforcement from communicating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a news release from Labrador’s office.

It calls for the hiring of another 12,500 immigration officers and would allow those deportation officers to carry firearms while providing them with body armor.

Members of criminal gangs who are illegally in the U.S. could be deported.

Labrador’s office stated that the bill is also meant to focus on the visa issuance process, screening foreign nationals.

The bill, named the Davis-Oliver Act, is named in honor of two California sheriff’s deputies. Placer County Detective Michael Davis Jr. and Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver were murdered in October 2014 by a man illegally in the U.S.

The House Judiciary Committee will consider the bill Thursday.

“One of the most important aspects of immigration reform is bolstering enforcement of existing immigration law,” Labrador said in a statement to the media. “We need to give law enforcement at all levels the tools and resources they need to keep America safe and secure. The previous administration was ideologically driven to shut down immigration enforcement. Our new president, however, owes his position to the promise he made to the American people to get serious about enforcing our laws. This bill helps him do that.”