Schuitmaker, Colbeck urge federal action on immigration

LANSING, Mich. — State Sens. Tonya Schuitmaker and Patrick Colbeck on Tuesday introduced a pair of resolutions urging Congress to cut funding to sanctuary cities and to pass Kate’s Law.

U.S. House Resolution 3004, which is commonly referred to as Kate’s law, increases penalties for those who are deported and caught trying to return to the United States. The legislation is named after Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman who was killed by a man who had been deported numerous times, but was able to enter the U.S. again. Many attribute Steinle’s death to the city’s sanctuary city status, a term coined for cities that limit cooperation between their workers and federal officials attempting to enforce federal immigration law.

“This man should never have been here and Kate should still be with her loved ones,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “This was a senseless, devastating crime that could have and should have been prevented. I applaud the House taking action and approving this measure, but the Senate needs to act quickly and get this to the president’s desk before this happens again.”

Michigan Senate Concurrent Resolutions 20, sponsored by Schuitmaker, and 21, sponsored by Colbeck, urge the U.S. Senate to approve Kate’s Law, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in early June. The pair of resolutions also urge the federal government to cut funding to any city that proclaims itself a sanctuary city.

“It makes no sense to financially reward government bodies that try to impede state and city employees from working with federal immigration authorities,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “It should go without saying that public safety demands our police be allowed to report to immigration authorities and detain people who are here illegally.”

Schuitmaker agreed.

“It baffles me that cities across the United States are not only getting away with knowingly violating federal law, but are also advertising their sanctuary city status and encouraging more people to violate the law,” Schuitmaker said. “This is not only a matter of public safety, but a matter of preserving the rule of law. We cannot let local governments decide which federal laws they choose to follow.”

Both resolutions were referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary for further consideration.