June 29, 2017
Dear Congress member,
Re: Sanctuary Cities H.R. 3003 and Kate's Law H.R. 3004
On behalf of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice and its member organizations, we are writing to vehemently voice our opposition to “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” (H.R. 3003) and “Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004). As a statewide community of human and civil rights organizations, we urge you to vote NO on these two anti-immigrant bills, which will serve to undercut law enforcement’s ability to keep our communities safe, and will jeopardize national security and hurt victims in need. Passage of these bills would be devastating to our community members who face real threats of violence in your district.
The “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” (H.R. 3003) and “Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004) undermines local authorities in order to give free reign to the federal government to apprehend and deport our immigrant neighbors. These bills, supercharged by President Donald Trump, are cruel, costly, and explicitly violates the U.S. Constitution’s limit on executive authority and our system of checks and balances. The “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” threatens to strip law enforcement funding from states and localities, and undermines local criminal prosecutions. States and local governments must not be mandated to comply with ICE detainers in cases where our federal courts have found that detainers are in violation of the Fourth Amendment. This bill would further put the government in violation of binding federal court orders and the “anti-commandeering” principle of the Tenth Amendment. It’s wrong, pitiless, and blatantly in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004) is another anti-immigrant bill that would strip our neighbors of the limited humanitarian protections available including those that apply to asylum seekers and families at risk of persecution. If passed, the law would impose additional prison time on persons who may have committed relatively minor offenses with no mention of where the money will come from and what the impact would be on prison overcrowding. Prosecutors will have more power to shove even more individuals into the prison pipeline by making immigration laws overly broad.
The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice often works with immigrant community members who are victims of crimes, including survivors of domestic violence. Should these bills move forward, our community members’ ability to communicate and cooperate with local law enforcement will be at risk. We all deserve real solutions to our broken immigration system. This cannot be achieved by taking power away from states, and putting community safety and victims at risk in an effort to demonize immigrants. Regardless of local policies, ICE is never prohibited from enforcing immigration law. These bills are playing politics at the expense of endangering communities. With increased fear, and due process violations, immigrants will stop reporting crimes which would be a clear public safety hazard.
We ask you to vote NO and join the long list of law enforcement as well as community organizations that have voiced their opposition to these bills.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice