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Putting safety first

In June, with the support of President Trump, we acted to give US Customs and Border Protection more resources to secure our border by making it easier for them to hire our brave military veterans and law enforcement officers. Last week, we continued the work to enhance security by advancing Kate’s Law which will keep Missouri and all Americans safe from the danger of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. At the same time the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act was passed which increases penalties for Sanctuary Cities and disqualifies them from receiving some federal funds. These bills build on the work I have already started by authoring legislation to stop even more federal funds from going to dangerous Sanctuary Cities like San Francisco.

Juan Lopez-Sanchez had seven felony convictions and had been deported five times before he shot and killed Kate Steinle on a pier in San Francisco in 2015. I’m saddened it took losing a great American like Kate for people to realize that we cannot allow Sanctuary Cities to ignore federal laws, but I’m glad we are finally led by a President prepared to take this issue as seriously as I am.

Named for Steinle, Kate’s Law establishes new maximum sentences for illegal immigrants who try to reenter the United States after being convicted of a felony. My vote for Kate’s Law last week was another step to keep our families, friends and neighbors safe. Over 300 cities and counties like San Francisco have policies to stonewall the federal government and prevent the Department of Homeland Security from effectively enforcing our immigration laws. But we are a nation of law and order, and cities that actively work against the law of the land should face consequences.

In addition to Kate’s Law, I voted for the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act last week because it is a step in the right direction by making Sanctuary Cities ineligible for certain federal support. I will continue to fight for my legislation which goes even further by fully disqualifying any Sanctuary City from federal transportation dollars?. I know the only way we will see real change from Sanctuary Cities is if we force them to operate without federal funds. Only then will they realize their need to comply with federal immigration laws. The bottom line is, cities and counties that fail to work with us to make America safe cannot be trusted with federal funds. 

Sanctuary Cities that harbor criminals like Juan Lopez-Sanchez and protect them from the full reach of federal law must be completely cut off from federal funding until they are ready to comply with federal immigration laws. It is the number one responsibility of your federal government to provide for the defense and security of this great nation. Fourth of July served as a great reminder to us all of how fortunate we are to live in a free and open country – it is important we take the steps needed to fully keep safe the American families and children who call her home.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

This report was filed July 7, 2017

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