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Rounds Votes to Protect American Families, Strengthen Immigration Enforcement

Press Release

Date: Oct. 20, 2015
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today voted to proceed to debate on the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, legislation that would withhold federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions that fail to comply with certain federal immigration laws. Unfortunately, the bill was filibustered by Senate Democrats.

"The fact that state and local governments release dangerous criminals who are here illegally should be of great concern to all Americans, whether or not they live near a sanctuary city," said Rounds. "This bill would protect American families by strengthening our borders and would make it easier for the federal government to deport criminals who are here illegally."

A sanctuary jurisdiction is any state or locality that forbids its local law enforcement from sharing information with federal immigration officials or complying with an immigration detainer or a request for notification of an alien's release from custody.

The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act limits grants to sanctuary jurisdictions. It also amends federal law to provide that when a local law enforcement officer complies with an immigration detainer issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that officer is acting as an agent of DHS and has the same power and liabilities as a DHS agent to hold the person listed in the detainer. Finally, the legislation increases the statutory maximum penalty for illegal reentry from two years to five years and creates a maximum penalty of 10 years for illegal reentries where the alien has been removed on three or more prior occasions. It is endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Sheriffs' Association, in addition to organizations that represent victims of illegal immigration.