U.S. House Passes Two Bills To Curtail Illegal Immigration

Rep. Collin Peterson crossed party lines to tighten the leash on sanctuary cities.

Kate's Law
U.S. Air Force airmen install a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Luis, Ariz., on Oct. 3, 2006.

MINNEAPOLIS – The U.S. House of Representatives passed two laws Thursday aimed to curtail illegal immigration.

H.R. 361, commonly known as Kate’s Law establishes mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for judges regarding cases where illegal immigrants re-enter the United States after having previously been deported.

Should the bill pass the Senate and be signed by President Donald Trump, an illegal immigrant re-entering the country will be subject to a prison sentence between five and six years. Currently, the maximum sentence is two years. For illegal immigrants who have committed crimes during their previous time in the U.S., a mandatory minimum sentence of five years would be put in place. The bill leaves in place the prior maximum sentences for criminals re-entering the U.S., which ranges from 10 to 20 years depending on the severity of their crimes.

CNN reports that Kate’s Law passed by a margin of 257-167.

H.R. 3003, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” expands the rules of what it means for a government entity to interfere with immigrations enforcement’s actions. Under the bill, sub-federal units of law enforcement may no longer avoid aiding federal officials in their enforcements of immigration laws by any means.

The act also goes on to codify that any sub-federal governmental entity which does not comply with the act, will no longer be eligible for any grant “administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security that is substantially related to law enforcement, terrorism, national security, immigration, or naturalization.”

Trump previously attempted to accomplish much the same thing via executive order. That was struck down by courts, with Minneapolis part of a lawsuit against the order, the Pioneer Press reported. Hennepin County receives roughly $198 million in federal funding, about 10 percent of the county’s total budget for last year. Ramsey County totaled $89.6 million in federal funds, which accounted for roughly 14 percent of its budget last year.

Rep. Collin Peterson crossed party lines to join the Republican members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation in voting for H.R. 3003. Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan voted against the bill. Overall the bill passed by a 228-195 margin.

Anders Koskinen