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Midstate lawmaker calls for crack down on Pa. sanctuary cities

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 26, 2015 1:30 PM
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FILE PHOTO: View of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington (Tim Lambert/WITF)

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate lawmaker is introducing a measure that seeks to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities.

Under the proposal by Republican state Senator Rich Alloway of Adams County, Pennsylvania cities and communities that do not comply with federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would not be eligible for state law enforcement grants and could be sued for negligence.

He says he hopes th bill will spark a discussion at the state level.

"Our federal government needs to continue to have the discussion of immigration and our laws and how it needs to be handled. But that is a federal issue," he says. "At the state level, the least we can do is offer these people up when they commit crimes."

Alloway's measure would not punish municipalities that try to uphold the law, but can't because ICE doesn't come to collect people living in or entering the U.S. illegally.

"When they arrest someone who violated our laws, they notify the federal authorities," he says. "If the federal authorities determine that the person is here illegally and they ask the local municipalities to hold them for 48 hours, we want our municipalities to do so."

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are among the more than 200 communities nationwide that have been identified as safe havens or sanctuary cities.

Republican Congressman Lou Barletta, who represents all of Columbia County and parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, Northumberland and Perry counties, has twice introduced legislation on the federal level to strio some federal funding from cities that don't cooperate with federal immigration officials..

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