The Republicans in the House passed two bills Thursday intended to curb illegal immigrant crime. Both "Kate's Law" and the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act." President Donald Trump tweeted approval on his social media account.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) explained the bills after passage of Kate's Law from the House floor and encouraged his Democratic colleagues to support the legislation.
"Thank you Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte, we appreciate your boldness in protecting the citizens of America with great legislation," he began. "When the father of Kate Steinle, Jim, testified before Congress, he said, 'Everywhere Kate went throughout the world, she shined the light of a good citizen from the United States of America.'
"Unfortunately, due to unjointed laws and basic incompetence of the government," he explained, "the United States has suffered a self-inflicted wound in the murder of our daughter by the hand of a person that should have never been on the streets in this country.
"Well, today we can resolve that," Walker concluded.
"Two years ago this weekend, Kate's life was ended when she was gunned down by a five-time deported criminal illegal alien with seven prior felony convictions," he continued. "Kate's Law will stiffen penalties, helping to stop these preventable tragedies.
"Additionally," he said, "the House will pass the 'No Sanctuary for Criminals Act' as well. You just heard, will Democrats participate. Well, 80 percent support ending 'sanctuary cities' and no citizen should be in danger because politicians think they are above the law."
"So will Democrats participate?" he asked. "Will they listen to their constituents? 80 percent of Americans feel pretty good about this law."
Walker was likely referring to the Harvard-Harris online poll that showed 80 percent of respondents wanted cities to follow federal immigration law in regards to illegal immigrants, but didn't mention the phrase "sanctuary cities" in the question.
House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) also praised the passage of the bills.
The White House explained the substance of the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" on its website.
For States or localities determined to be in violation of Federal law, H.R. 3003 would restrict their eligibility to receive certain Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security grants. Instead, under this bill, those grant funds would be reallocated to States and localities that comply with Federal law. Additionally, this bill would provide for more robust detention of criminal aliens. The Administration is committed to strengthening enforcement of our Nation’s immigration laws in order to improve national security and public safety. This legislation is critical to these efforts.
And also "Kate's Law."
H.R. 3004 would increase the penalties that may be imposed on criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry, deterring reentry and keeping criminal aliens off our streets. The bill is consistent with the Administration's broader efforts to strengthen enforcement of our immigration laws and improve the security of our Nation's borders.
President Trump will undoubtedly sign both bills, as they align with his campaign promises, but they face an uphill battle in the Senate where they'll need 60 votes to pass onto the president's desk for final approval.