By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, May 15, 2017, Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) introduced the Securing the Border and Protecting Our Communities Act. The bill would prohibit certain Federal Transportation Grant Funds from being made available to sanctuary jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with the Department of Justice in upholding immigration laws or who penalize local businesses for bidding to work on the border wall. Funds not directed to these cities would be reallocated for use under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 toward the completion of the wall.
Sen. Strange said, “The American people spoke out loud and clear last year in support of one of President Trump’s most important promises – to finish building the wall on our Southern border. This Legislation will restore the rule of law in Sanctuary Cities while helping fund the President’s promise. Penalizing businesses for joining in this critical national security effort is beyond the pale. I introduced this bill to make it clear that cities do not get to play games with the safety of their people or ignore clear federal statutes. They can either follow the law or fund the wall. “
Sen. Perdue said, “Sanctuary cities continue to put politics over safety and security. In their latest attempt at political grandstanding, sanctuary cities are threatening to penalize their own taxpaying local businesses if they submit plans to help enhance our border security with a wall. Our nation is a nation of laws. Until these cities join the rest of us in following these laws, they have no business receiving Federal Grant Funds.”
Last month, California state lawmakers advanced a measure to prohibit the state from awarding contracts to any company involved in the wall’s construction. Similar measures have been introduced or considered in New York, Rhode Island, and San Francisco. The city of Berkley, California adopted a “black list” to cut off any funds to companies or contractors that want to assist with the building of the border wall.
In his budget proposal, President Donald J. Trump (R) proposed taking $210 million from sanctuary cities who participate in a US Justice Department program used to reimburse jailers for the cost of housing criminal illegal aliens. Trump would then use those dollars within the Justice Department to hire 75 more immigrations judges raising the total to 449 to deal with the backlog of immigration cases. Trump would also hire sixty more Federal Immigration Law Prosecutors and forty more Federal Marshals to hunt down and apprehend violators of US immigration laws.
Senator Strange was appointed to the Senate by former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) after the Senate seat was vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) to become US Attorney General. Strange is running for the seat in this year’s Special Election. The Special Primary Elections is August 15, and the Special General Election will be December 12. Strange is a former Alabama Attorney General.