As Texas Fights to Keep its Anti Sanctuary Law, Congress Weighs In

At the same time the state is being sued by San Antonio and a handful of other Texas towns, the U.S. Congress has passed a bill that would also crack down on sanctuary cities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The so-called Kate's law increases penalties for migrants who are deported and then return to the United States. It is named for Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco in 2015 by a man who had been kicked out of the country five times.

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, says it sends a message to anyone thinking about sneaking across the border.

"We need to get these people out of our communities and off our streets," he tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.  "We need to either put them in jail or send them home, and there should be no equivocation or hesitation."

Also, the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" would stop federal grants going to sanctuary cities that refuse Homeland Security detainer requests to their jails.

This week, President Donald Trump staged events to promote both bills that included the parents of several people who were killed by undocumented migrants.

"We're calling on all members of Congress to honor grieving American families by passing these life-saving messages in the House, in the Senate and then sending them to my desk for a very rapid signature," Trump said.

Both bills need to approval from the Senate to become law.

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