Representative Bradley Byrne

Representing the 1st District of Alabama

Byrne, Budd Introduce Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act

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Jul 25, 2019
Press Release

Fresh off a visit to the southern border to see the illegal immigration crisis firsthand, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) joined Ted Budd (R-NC) today in introducing legislation to protect victims of illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities.

“I’m sick of hearing stories about illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities committing horrific crimes against American citizens. It’s time we do something about it,” said Byrne. “Not only will our legislation provide justice for victims, but it will push communities to abandon their reckless sanctuary policies and help disincentivize illegal immigration. Whether it’s cracking down on sanctuary cities or providing additional resources to build the wall, now is the time for action to address the illegal immigration crisis.”

“I’ve been following sanctuary cities for some time now and the effects that they have on local communities, said Budd. I’ve found that sanctuary cities’ failure to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reckless and has had a real cost on society, both economically and in terms of human lives. It strikes me as common sense to introduce and pursue legislation that allows families and victims recourse against municipalities and policies that have caused them so much damage. Currently, they have none. I want to thank Rep. Bradley Bryne for introducing this bill with me in the House and Senator Thom Tillis for his leadership on this issue in the Senate.”

President Trump has said the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act will “give American victims the right to sue sanctuary cities and hold them accountable for the thousands of lives they have shattered.” The bill creates a new legal right for any individual, spouse, or child who is a victim of a violent crime or felony caused by an illegal immigrant to sue the responsible sanctuary city or jurisdiction. It requires jurisdictions to waive immunity for these cases as a condition of receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and other grants.

The bill 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 DHS or the notification of the release of an illegal immigrant. 

Click here to see the text of this bill. Senators Thom Tillis, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, and Marsha Blackburn previously introduced companion legislation in the Senate.