House Sends Veto-Proof Sanctuary Cities Bill to the Senate
HARRISBURG – In a strong showing of support, members of the York County House Republican delegation joined a bipartisan mix of lawmakers to approve legislation by a veto-proof majority that would hold cities and municipalities liable for damages caused by unauthorized aliens who commit a crime in so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Members of the delegation – state Reps. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township), Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg) and Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) – applauded the 136 – 55 vote to send Rep. White’s (R-Philadelphia) bill to the Senate.

“Municipalities should not supersede federal law and create their own immigration policies. Doing so sets a bad precedent. Sanctuary cities essentially harbor unauthorized aliens who commit crimes, making it difficult for federal officials to do their jobs and uphold the laws of our nation,” the delegation said. “We would like to thank Rep. Martina White for drafting this very important bill and for the work she’s done to get it to this point.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney declared Pennsylvania’s largest city a sanctuary city – meaning it will not turn over unauthorized aliens to federal officials – which prompted White to introduce House Bill 1885.

Since then, the issue has received bipartisan support, including from President Barack Obama’s administration, and former Philadelphia mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter, all who have spoken out against Philadelphia’s policy.

White’s legislation would hold responsible any sanctuary city in Pennsylvania for the damages to persons or property as a result of criminal activity by unauthorized aliens if:

• It has been determined by federal immigration officials that the person who engaged in the criminal activity is an unauthorized alien.
• The unauthorized alien is a resident of the sanctuary municipality.
• The unauthorized alien is convicted of the crime.
• The criminal activity is a proximate cause of the injury.

The legislation also would prohibit any restrictions on an official or employee of a municipality from:

• Sending to or receiving from federal immigration officials any information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of an individual.
• Exchanging information, with regard to an individual, with other federal agencies, state agencies or municipalities.
• Requesting an applicant for state or local public benefits to provide proof of eligibility.

Under White’s legislation, if a law enforcement officer of a municipality has reasonable cause to believe an individual under arrest is not legally in the United States, the officer must immediately report the individual to the appropriate federal authorities.

“Working with the federal government, not against it, is a key component to administrating laws that keep our citizens safe, while also enforcing our country’s immigration policies,” the delegation said.

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross
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