Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called on Republican leadership on Tuesday to attach “Kate’s Law” to “must-pass legislation” if Democrats decided to block the proposed bill to punish sanctuary cities following the death of Kate Steinle -- which they did.
The bill would establish mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal immigrant felons. Under the legislation, sanctuary cities, like San Francisco, that refuse to collect immigration information and refuse to comply with federal authorities would be punished by getting stripped of certain grants and funds.
Cruz told fellow senators that criminal illegal aliens have "a special disregard and disdain for our nation’s law" and, in 2012, "just over a quarter of the illegal aliens apprehended by Border Patrol had prior deportation orders -- that’s an astounding 99,420 illegal aliens."
“So I salute leadership for bringing up this vote, but if a party-line vote blocks it, then the next step is not simply to have a vote. The next step is to attach this legislation to must-pass legislation and to actually fix the problem,” Cruz said.
He said "'governing' is always said at least an octave lower” in Washington, D.C., and called on Republican leaders to take meaningful action rather than a “show-vote.”
“When it comes to stopping sanctuary cities and protecting our safety, we need some governing. We need to actually fix the problem rather than a show-vote,” he said. “So my first entreaty is to our Democratic friends across the aisle, regardless of areas where we different on partisan politics, this should be an easy vote. Do you stand with the men and women of your state or do you stand with violent criminal illegal aliens? We will find out in just a couple of hours.”
Democrats ultimately blocked the legislation from passing with a 54-45 vote, six votes shy of the 60 required to move to a final vote.
With that being the reality, Cruz’s demand is as follows:
“[I]f Democrats are partisans first rather than protecting the men and women they represent, then it is up to Republican leadership to attach this to a must-pass bill, to actually pass it into law and solve the problem, not to talk about it but to do it. It is my hope that's what all of us do together. I yield the floor.”
Watch the speech below: