WASHINGTON — An Idaho congressman introduced a wide-ranging bill to tighten up immigration enforcement Tuesday that would take away some federal grants from local governments that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities and let the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in “sanctuary” jurisdictions sue the municipality.
U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador’s bill would let cities and local governments help enforce immigration laws and let them “enact and enforce their own immigration laws as long as they are consistent with federal law,” according to a fact sheet summarizing the bill. It would also tighten up the visa issuance process and expand the circumstances where authorities can detain or deport undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes.
Named the Davis-Oliver Act in honor of two California police officers who were murdered by an undocumented immigrant in 2014, the bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is co-sponsoring it.
This isn’t the first time Labrador and Goodlatte have co-authored bills to make immigration policy more restrictive — they introduced one last year to put more limits on refugee resettlement. But this time, Donald Trump, who supports ideas similar to ones in this bill, is president.
“One of the most important aspects of immigration reform is bolstering enforcement of existing immigration law,” Labrador said in a statement. “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.”
The bill bears the same name as ones introduced by former Alabama senator and now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015. The Daily Caller reported in early May that passing Davis-Oliver was a goal of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and that Goodlatte was working on it with the White House.
Giving states more power to crack down on undocumented immigrants has been a popular idea among some Republicans, and laws to do this have been proposed or passed in several. A bill to take some money away from “sanctuary cities” was introduced in Idaho this year but never got a hearing.
Labrador filed paperwork a week ago to run for governor, making him the fourth candidate in next year’s GOP primary to replace C.L. “Butch” Otter.