A project of the Center for Community Change

Congress tries to kill sanctuary- may hit anti-terror

Salon.com published this article on sanctuary- thought it was worth sharing.

Popular proposals to choke off federal support to immigrant-friendly “sanctuary cities” would also dry up anti-terror funding for the cities most at risk.

By Alex Koppelman

Oct. 04, 2007 | Al-Qaida‘s targets on 9/11 were in New York City and Washington. But if Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and 233 other members of the U.S. House have their way, those cities and others at high risk of terrorist attacks, including some that have reportedly been the target of foiled plots, would be stripped of the federal funding intended to keep their citizens safe from attack.

At issue are so-called sanctuary cities. There is no single definition of a “sanctuary city,” but in essence it is one that takes a “don’t ask, don’t tell” stance toward the immigration status of its residents. For example, a sanctuary city might bar local police from inquiring about or disclosing the status of a victim or witness of a crime. A comprehensive list of sanctuary cities would have to include a huge swath of urban America. It would include the four biggest cities in the United States, the majority of the 25 biggest cities, and every one of the six urban areas the Department of Homeland Security says face the highest risk of terrorism — New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.

Spurred by the GOP base’s anger over illegal immigration, Republicans in the House have introduced several bills and amendments that would impose financial penalties on those sanctuary cities. Two measures, amendments to larger spending bills, have already passed. Such proposals have also become an issue in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and several candidates have voiced their support.

But the proposals involve depriving the nation’s biggest and most vulnerable cities of their anti-terror funding. To fight the War on Illegal Immigration, the party is willing to defund the War on Terror. For residents of America’s major cities, it might therefore be reassuring to know that most of the measures, even as they’re approved by Congress, are written in such a way that they’ll be hard to enforce. Get the REST

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