-- Following the heartbreaking death of Kathryn Steinle, who was gunned down in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant, Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) announced he will co-sponsor legislation to require state and local law enforcement agencies to comply with federal law and cooperate with federal immigration officials.
The legislation, which has yet to be introduced, would require state and local law enforcement agencies to comply with requests to notify federal immigration officials before the release of certain individuals, as well as maintain custody of certain individuals already in their custody for up to 48 hours beyond when such individuals would otherwise be released.
“The death of Kathryn Steinle is a tragic example of the danger posed by sanctuary cities that refuse to follow federal law and cooperate with federal immigration officials,” Taylor said. “I applaud the members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to withhold federal grants to cities that have policies designed to shelter illegal immigrants from deportation.
This legislation not only promotes the rule of law, but it will also encourage state and local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the federal government and end this destructive practice.
Steinle’s killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was deported five times, but admitted returning to San Francisco for security.
“He knew he would be protected from deportation there,” Taylor said. “We must do everything we can to dissuade that kind of dangerous policy anywhere in Commonwealth.”
Pursuant to federal law, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) – in particular, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) – may issue a detainer for an individual who is currently in the custody of a state or local law enforcement agency. The purpose of the detainer is to allow ICE to take custody of the individual. The state or local law enforcement agency cannot maintain custody of the individual for more than 48 hours beyond the time that the illegal alien would otherwise be released.
In 2014, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order preventing Philadelphia law enforcement from complying with ICE detainers when the Philadelphia law enforcement agency believes that the individual does not pose a serious risk to public safety.
“But if the federal government rules that an individual should not be returned to the community, Philadelphia law enforcement should not have the ability to overrule the determination,” Taylor said. “The legislation I am supporting would require all state and local law enforcements agencies in the Commonwealth to keep the individuals in custody and notify federal officials.”
Representative John Taylor
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster