Representative introduces immigration bill targeting ‘sanctuary cities’

A freshman Republican US representative from California recently introduced an immigration bill that would withhold all federal funding from cities that do not fully enforce federal immigration policies.

According to the Los Angeles Times, when Lou Barletta was the mayor of Hazleton he was known for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration, and it now appears that he is taking that attitude to Capitol Hill. Barletta’s bill would reportedly target “sanctuary cities.”

“If the federal government wants to sue the state of Arizona because it claims the state is breaking federal law, then it should also sue the mayors of sanctuary cities because they are willfully breaking federal immigration law,” Barletta told reporters. “Local elected officials who choose to ignore enforcement of federal immigration policy are aiding and assisting illegal aliens.”

Barletta was referring to the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Arizona over the Grand Canyon State’s controversial immigration law that was passed last year.

Deputy director of America’s Voice, an immigration advocacy group, Lynn Tramonte, told the news source that such sanctuary cities allow immigrants in the country illegally to report crimes without fear of reprisal.

There were about 10.8 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. as of January 2009.