Senator Toomey Mr. Grassley, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Cotton, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Perdue, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Blunt, and Mrs. Fischer
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator XX,
Senator XX, I would like to introduce you to the Federalist Coalition. We are 501(c) (4) organization composed of entirely volunteer, grassroots citizens dedicated to promoting and advocating the concepts of American Federalism. We are a diverse group with members from coast to coast.
Knowing you to be a staunch defender of the Constitution, we are writing you to express our concerns about HR. 3003 also known as The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. As you know, this bill has passed the House and will be coming to the Senate for consideration. The Federalist Coalition has some concerns about this bill that we would like to call to your attention.
Having the officials of municipalities declare themselves “Sanctuary Cities” and then refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration laws or officers is obviously a serious problem, it would be fair to call it outrageous. The Constitution, as well as years of legal precedence, clearly gives the Congress and the executive branch authority in this area. Short of sending in Federal troops, taking away Federal funding seems like a reasonable way to encourage compliance and cooperation. Nonetheless, we believe that this bill goes too far.
Section 2, subsection (a), paragraph(1), the inclusion of the word “assisting” could be construed to be ordering the state or local authority or personnel to actually carry out Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers’ work. This would seem to us as clear violation of the 10th amendment.
Although we are not opposed to use of withholding Federal monies as way to encourage compliance, we do not believe that withholding justice to the citizens of that city or state is reasonable nor is it within the authority of Congress. Section 2, subsection (d), paragraph (2) gives the Secretary the discretionary authority to deny transfer of custody of an alien in DHS custody regardless of a legal warrant or writ simply on the basis of compliance. Furthermore, paragraph (3) mandates that aliens with final removal orders cannot be transferred to non-compliant political entities.
We are also concerned that the bill’s scope (Sections 3 and 4) goes beyond sanctuary cities and moves to further extend DHS’s ability to detain a suspected alien without a warrant for an unlimited time, quite possibly a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments and gives local authorities immunity from legal action from violating these individuals’ rights.
The authors of this bill, create a private right of action for victims of crimes to sue states for crimes committed by aliens who were released in violation of Federal immigration laws. This seems to us to be a clear violation of 11th amendment.
We were pleased to note that you are a co-sponsor of S. 87 or Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act. This bill would appear to have language preferable to the House bill. Language in Section 2 could be construed as having the same commandeering of local authorities as HR. 3003 but it does only use the word “cooperate” and explicitly does not provide immunity for unconstitutional acts. Furthermore, definitions in Section 3 serve to further narrow the scope of the “cooperation.” The bill also has no language further expanding DHS ability to detain aliens without warrant.
We appreciate your sponsorship of this bill and hope that you and your colleagues will pass this or similar bill and not HR 3003.
As always, Senator XX, we thank you for your tireless defense of the Constitution, American Federalism and the liberties that we hold dear.
Taylor Fischer, President
The Federalist Coalition