Called the ‘Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act,’ the highly partisan bill has practically no chance of passing the House.
North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd introduced a bill last week that’d let crime victims sue sanctuary cities if the perpetrator was an undocumented immigrant.
It’s an obviously partisan piece of legislation and one with no hope of passing the Democrat-dominated House. Entitled the ‘Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act,’ the proposal would give anyone who’s been victimized by an undocumented immigrant within the last decade the chance to file a lawsuit.
“I’ve found that sanctuary cities’ failure to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement is reckless and has had a real cost on society, both economically and in terms of human lives,” Budd said in a press release last Thursday.
Budd’s bill sets an unusually high standard for prospective litigants—in order to seek recompense under its purview, crime victims would have to demonstrate that an undocumented perpetrator “benefitted from a sanctuary policy of the sanctuary jurisdiction.” Another stipulation necessitates that a victim “would not have been so injured or harmed but for the alien receiving the benefit of such sanctuary policy.”
According to Budd, it’s a common-sense initiative. And the recently-elected congressman’s proposal is one likely to hit home for many conservatives—under the Trump administration, immigration has always been a priority. Much of President Trump’s 2016 election campaign hinged around the border and those crossing it illegally, with the then-candidate claiming that sanctuary cities encourage crime and endanger Americans.
“It strikes me as common sense to introduce and pursue legislation that allows families and victims recourse against municipalities and policies that have caused them so much damage,” Budd said. “Currently, they have none.”
The proposal is a tack off the administration’s failed policy. Along with letting crime victims sue cities, it’d seek to punish sanctuary jurisdictions which prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
To that end, the ‘Justice’ Act wants sanctuary cities to ‘waive immunity’ in order to qualify for many federal grants.
“Any State or political subdivision of a State that accepts a grant […] from the Federal Government shall agree, as a condition of receiving such grant, to waive any immunity […] relating to a sanctuary-related civil action,” the bill says.
Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne, another Republican, is co-sponsoring the bill with Budd. Byrne seemed to phrase the legislation as a potentially heroic endeavor.
“I’m sick of hearing stories about illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities committing horrific crimes against American citizens,” Byrne said. “It’s time we do something about it.
“Not only will our legislation provide justice for victims, but it will punish communities to abandon their reckless sanctuary policies and help disincentivize illegal immigration.”