The White House and Congress are reportedly working together to advance a previously introduced immigration enforcement measure that would enable law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration and force cities to uphold immigration laws.
The Trump administration appears to be interested in resurrecting the Davis-Oliver Act, which was introduced in the last session of Congress by Rep. Trey Gowdy and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2015 but never enacted. The measure would have restricted law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities, increased immigration enforcement by local authorities, and raised penalties for immigration crimes, the Daily Caller writes.
The Davis-Oliver Act, named for two California police officers killed by an illegal immigrant, was heavily supported by law enforcement and anti-illegal immigration groups. The Daily Caller reports that both the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers supported passage of the legislation.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) praised the bill after it was introduced as a “common sense approach to immigration.”
“The legislation recognizes that U.S. immigration laws exist to protect the safety and security of the American people and that all law enforcement agencies, as well as state and local governments, have a sworn obligation to work together to see that those laws are carried out,” FAIR said.
Likewise, NumbersUSA supported the bill as the best measure to address sanctuary cities.
The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in June of 2015, where it died. However, a recent photo of White House strategist Steve Bannon reveals a whiteboard in the background, on which “propose passage of Davis-Oliver bill” is written, signaling the White House’s interest in its passage.
The photo features Rabbi Shmuley, who visited the White House on May 2, standing beside Steve Bannon. Rabbi Shmuley tweeted the photo with the caption, “Steve is a great, stalwart friend of the Jewish State.” In the background is a whiteboard with a list of Trump’s campaign promises on ObamaCare and immigration. Items on the immigration side include a long number of items such as building the wall, ending “catch and release,” and passage of the Davis-Oliver bill, which would require finding new sponsors and a reintroduction in Congress, all of which may already be in the works.
A House Judiciary Committee aide told The Daily Caller on Wednesday, “Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte has been in communication with the White House about the Davis-Oliver Act. This bill has always been a top priority for chairman Goodlatte and hopes to have it reintroduced soon.”
Trump showed his support of the Davis-Oliver Act by inviting the widows of Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver as guests at his first congressional address in February.
Reintroducing the bill could not come at a better time as illegal immigrant-friendly cities across the country and in some cases whole states continue to show flagrant disregard for immigration laws.
Earlier this year, for example, California Senate Democrats advanced bills to create statewide sanctuary for illegal immigrants and provide money to pay for immigration lawyers on behalf of immigrants facing deportation.
“We in California have a responsibility to say no and to be counter balance of the nightmare coming out of Washington,” San Francisco Democrat Scott Wiener insisted when the bills were introduced.
California is also considering a bill that would establish the first-ever state single-payer healthcare system, which would provide healthcare to all its residents, including illegal immigrants.
Additionally, the sanctuary city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order against such cities, claiming it is unconstitutional.
And while efforts to acquire sanctuary city status for Phoenix, Arizona failed in February, Mayor Greg Stanton vowed that he would not allow the city of Phoenix to cooperate with the Trump administration’s “mass deportation plans.”
The Davis-Oliver Act would address these violations by increasing penalties for immigration-related crimes like passport fraud and strip federal law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that do not comply with immigration detainers. It also would impose sanctions on countries that refuse to accept deported individuals.