A proposed law introduced in the Senate designed to toughen border security punishes local governments that serve as so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) unveiled the Building America’s Trust Act Aug. 3. The border security bill would allot $15 billion over four years to increase resources at U.S. borders to secure them and strengthen enforcement of existing immigration laws.
A specific measure under the bill would punish local municipalities that have so-called immigrant “sanctuary” laws and policies by “imposing tough penalties on federal funds for jurisdictions who fail to comply with lawful federal immigration enforcement request.” The bill would withhold certain federal funds from such sanctuary cities and counties.
They include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Eliminating funds such as CDBG and EDA would undermine county efforts for enhancing local communities and expanding economic development, said Renee Price, Orange County, N.C. commissioner and chair of NACo’s Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee.
“Counties utilize the flexibility of CDBG funds to support projects that meet local priorities in addressing community and economic development, housing, water and infrastructure and human service needs.
“EDA funding is important to counties because it helps local communities achieve long-term economic growth based on local and regional priorities. CDBG and EDA provide vital resources for local economic development, job creation and retention projects, Price said.