Tillis Bill Would Allow Victims to Sue Sanctuary Cities | NTK Network Tillis Bill Would Allow Victims to Sue Sanctuary Cities

Tillis Bill Would Allow Victims to Sue Sanctuary Cities

The “Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act” is in early stages, but it would compel local jurisdictions to comply with ICE.

By NTK Staff | 07.16.2019 @12:00pm
Tillis Bill Would Allow Victims to Sue Sanctuary Cities

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently introduced legislation that would hold Sanctuary Cities accountable for not complying with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

The “Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act” is in early stages, but it’s designed to allow people impacted by sanctuary practices to take civil action. Some cities choose not to comply with immigration detainers, allowing undocumented immigrants to reside in their jurisdictions without proper paperwork.

Tillis’s bill would punish cities who do not comply with ICE by withholding federal grants.

Here’s how the bill works:

The bill allows “any individual, spouse, or child who is a victim [of] a violent crime or felony” to sue, if the injury results from a local municipality not cooperating with an ICE detainer or other request from the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary from Tillis’s office.

Tillis likens it to a “victims’ rights” issue.

The issue is pertinent to Tillis’s home state of North Carolina, where local sheriff departments in Durham, Mecklenburg, and Wake Counties have said they will not cooperate with ICE.

Some activists are also opposed to the legislation.

“Cooperation with ICE is optional. Local counties and local sheriffs are within their full federal right to not comply with immigration authorities,” one Raleigh-based activist said. “This legislation is about specifically demonizing and spreading xenophobia about the immigrant community.”

If enacted, Tillis’s bill would help families like Kate Steinle’s. Steinle was killed in 2015 by an illegal immigrant who had been deported from the U.S. on five separate occasions. He had previously racked up seven felony convictions.

The jury in Steinle’s trial acquitted the perpetrator of homicide-related charges, but found him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He got away with time-served.

Steinle’s family was not able to hold the city of San Francisco accountable, but under Tillis’s bill, that could become an option.

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