Illegal immigration is perhaps the most debated topic of the presidential race thus far. Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is trying to make a change by cracking down on sanctuary cities. Unfortunately his most recent attempt to do so was blocked by Senator Harry Reid.
Senate Democrats decided yesterday to fight against a bill that would have imposed a minimum federal sentence on illegal immigrants caught crossing the border more than once. This decision comes just days after San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi AKA the “Sanctuary Sheriff” lost his bid for re-election to Vicki Hennessey.
“This ought to be a clear choice: with whom do you stand?” asks Senator Cruz. “Do you stand with violent criminal illegal aliens, or do you stand with American citizens?”Cruz’s bill would impose a minimum sentence of 5 years for any illegal immigrant caught crossing back into the country after a previous deportation. Democrats predictably whine that sanctuary cities should be able to say no to federal agents when they order deportation.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid blocked Ted Cruz’s request when he asked to begin debating the bill. According to Reid, Cruz’s legislation would require the costly addition of 20,000 new prison beds – all without evidence that the bill would actually deter would-be illegal immigrants from crossing into the country.
House Republicans have managed to pass legislation that withholds federal money from sanctuary cities, but Democratic lawmakers in the Senate have filibustered, preventing progress.
This issue came to a boiling point in July when an innocent woman was shot and killed in San Francisco by a man who was later found to have been deported five times. Even worse, Sheriff Mirkarimi had refused to turn this violent man over to the feds earlier this year. Vicki Hennessy, who has since replaced Sheriff Mirkarimi, says she will deal with illegal immigrants and deportation requests on a case-by-case basis.