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White House Dismisses Congressional Proposals to Block Funds for Sanctuary Cities

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at his June 5, 2015 daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he doesn’t take Republicans proposals to block federal funding from sanctuary cities seriously.

Congressional proposals to restrict funding came up after a previously deported illegal immigrant, Francisco Sanchez, allegedly murdered Kate Steinle in San Francisco, one of many sanctuary cities across the country.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks about the response to the ongoing Ebola crisis during the daily press briefing, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Earnest said Wednesday the comprehensive immigration reform proposal from 2013 increased penalties for illegal immigrants who were previously deported, and said Republicans in the House opposed it.

“When they raise concerns about how effectively our immigration system is working to keep communities safe, they have no one to blame but themselves,” Earnest told reporters.

Pressed again specifically on the proposals to restrict funding, Earnest was dismissive.

“I think I’ve articulated why we don’t take those legislative proposals particularly seriously,” Earnest said.

The House is expected to vote on legislation to withhold Justice Department grants to cities that will not enforce immigration laws, while Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday introduced a similar proposal.

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