Lost in the buzz of President Trump attacking MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenski on Twitter is that the president is pushing two bills to help crack down on illegal immigrant crime: Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. Kate's Law passed the House on Thursday; the House will also be voting on the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.
Here are five things you need to know about them.
1. Kate's Law would enact stiffer penalties on illegals who re-enter the country after deportation. The law is named after Kathryn Steinle, who was murdered in sanctuary city San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times. Her murder became national news which Trump highlighted during the presidential campaign.
Here are the details of the bill's harsher penalties on illegals re-entering country:
The bill would raise the maximum prison penalties for immigrants caught repeatedly entering the US illegally, with escalating penalties for the number of repeat offenses and for other criminal acts. For example, someone who re-enters the US illegally with a felony conviction or three misdemeanors on their record could be imprisoned for up to 10 years. An undocumented immigrant who illegally crosses after being deported three or more times would also serve up to 10 years.
2. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would prevent sanctuary cities from receiving federal grant money. The grants for which they would be ineligible would include the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and the Cops on the Beat program. This would be a way to gain leverage over cities that refuse to hand over illegals to federal law enforcement.
3. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would also protect local governments which cooperate with the federal government from being sued, but won't offer such protection to those that didn't cooperate. In other words, if a local government failed to cooperate in handing over an illegal immigrant and that illegal immigrant harmed an individual, the individual could sue the city under the law.
4. It's unlikely that either bill will pass the Senate. Both bills would require a 60-vote threshold to pass through a Democratic filibuster. Since there are only 52 Republicans in the Senate, it's hard to imagine that eight Democratic senators would be willing to hand Trump a legislative victory and risk alienating the party's far-left base.