RECENT VOTES

Immigration

On Thursday, July 23, 2015 the House also considered H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. This legislation was developed as a response to the tragic murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant who had been mistakenly released. H.R. 3009 does nothing to address the circumstances that resulted in the loss of Kathryn’s life. The perpetrator was being held by the Federal Bureau of Prisons because he entered this country illegally. He was then transferred to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office due to a decades old warrant involving marijuana. The District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute and the Sheriff’s office then released him without informing federal immigration officials.

Nothing in H.R. 3009 would have prevented any of the actions detailed above. The legislation withholds federal criminal justice grants from communities with policies limiting the circumstances under which someone’s immigration status can be determined and shared. Many communities have policies like this in order to encourage cooperation with law enforcement in the interest of protecting public safety. Victims of violent crimes should not fear coming forward to testify against criminals because they fear a review of their immigration status. This is especially relevant in circumstances of domestic violence. H.R. 3009 basically requires local law enforcement to act as immigration officials or risk losing funds that are used to help keep their communities safe. Numerous organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Fraternal Order of Police oppose H.R. 3009. I voted NO. H.R. 3009 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

235

5

0

5

DEMOCRAT

6

174

0

8

TOTAL

241

179

0

13

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0