Yesterday, the New York assembly's passed a bill called the “New York State Liberty Act,” which is intended to turn the entire state into a "sanctuary state." If enacted, the bill would also hamper the efforts of local and state authorities to enforce federal immigration laws, and reward illegal immigrants with free college tuition.
While the bill passed the Democrat-controlled New York Assembly, some in the Senate Republican majority have already signaled that the bill will face a difficult road in the Senate. Republican Senator Terrance Murphy, Chairman of the Committee on Investigations & Government Operations released a statement about the bill, going so far as telling New York Democrats to "keep dreaming."
"I want to give everyone the opportunity to succeed, so long as they are here legally," Murphy said. "Ellis Island was the bastion of legal immigration. As long as there is a queue of people coming here the right way and seeking work or refuge here, we cannot be rewarding lawbreakers with free college tuition, free healthcare, driver's licenses and a get out of jail free card. This bill is a slap in the face to everyone trying to immigrate the right way."
"Illegal immigration is modern-day feudalism," he continued. "The Assembly's sanctuary policies would perpetuate it, create an even bigger drain on taxpaying citizens and the labor market, and risk further exploitation by unscrupulous landlords and employers who skirt the law,. The federal government needs to get its act together, get the border under control and stop the flow of heroin, drugs and human trafficking. It is not the state's place to encourage that broken system. We are a nation of laws, or we are nothing at all, and the same goes for the great State of New York."
Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan as well has stated that the bill will won't see the light of day. When asked if the bill could be brought to the floor for a vote, he answered with a hard "no."
“And you know the difficulty: The fact that they took forever to get the vote and it was 77-58, that speaks volumes about how many problems there were,” added Flanagan.
This bill, as New York Assemblyman Al Graf has stated, was little more than "political theater" against President Donald Trump's hard stances, and unbending policies on illegal immigration. The Albany Times Union, a right-leaning paper, even went so far as to label it an "anti-Trump Act." In California, Democrats are proposing similar bills that would turn the entire state into a safe haven for illegal immigrants.
Trump has addressed what he would attempt do if California makes the bill into a law during an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
“If we have to, we’ll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control. Obviously the voters agree. Otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for me,” the president told O'Reilly.
Trump has yet to go into any details about how he would go about defunding an entire state, however Graf believes that Trump will follow through on his word, and would rather not take any chances regardless of believing like other Republicans that this bill will not survive the Republican controlled Senate.
“We know it is never going to pass the other house, but it looks good in the paper,” said Graf. “But we’ve seen the actions of this new president, and I don’t think he’s bluffing when it comes to taking away federal money from the states. So if we’re playing with a third of our revenues, we could face a lot of problems here.”