Toomey Calls on Trump to Punish Philly, Other Sanctuary Cities
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey has called on president-elect Donald Trump to punish Philadelphia and other “sanctuary cities” that do not fully comply with federal immigration authorities, NewsWorks reports.
Toomey is urging Congress to pass his “Stop Dangerous Cities” bill, which would make sanctuary jurisdictions ineligible for certain federal funds, such as community development block grants. When the bill was first introduced in June, Toomey said sanctuary cities “create serious obstacles for the war on terror.” A month later, the bill was sidelined by a procedural vote.
Community development block grants are especially geared toward helping communities with low and moderate income levels, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Pennsylvania received more than $169 million in community development block grants for the fiscal year 2016, and the grants provided Philadelphia with about $39 million for community development efforts this year. If Toomey’s bill were passed, funding could be cut in Philadelphia and more than 30 other counties in Pennsylvania with formal and informal sanctuary city policies.
The Philadelphia Police Department does not currently collaborate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Officials are prohibited from complying with ICE holds and detainer requests under an executive order by former Mayor Michael Nutter, which Mayor Jim Kenney reinstated on his first day in office.
Kenney, who has called other anti-sanctuary city bills “incredibly dangerous,” has said that Philadelphia will remain a sanctuary city – even with Trump in office. He prefers the label “Fourth Amendment city” over sanctuary city, according to the Inquirer.
“We respect and live up to the Fourth Amendment, which means you can’t be held against your will without a warrant from the court signed by a judge,” Kenney said last month, according to the newspaper. “So, yeah, we will continue to be a Fourth Amendment city abiding by the Constitution.”
On Wednesday, officials at the University of Pennsylvania — Trump’s alma mater — said in a letter that they agree with Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy. “Penn is and has always been a ‘sanctuary’ — a safe place for our students to live and to learn,” administrators wrote in the email signed by university president Amy Gutmann.
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