The White House issued a veto threat on Thursday to a bill Democrats are deridingly calling the Donald Trump Act.
The White House issued the veto threat against the bill that was hurriedly advanced through the House after GOP presidential candidate Trump highlighted the shooting death of a woman in San Francisco by an immigrant not legally in the country and who had already been deported several times.
The administration said the bill, sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., fails to offer comprehensive immigration reforms, undermines the administration's efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals who are not legally in the U.S., hurts efforts to collaborate with state and local law enforcement and threatens the civil rights of all Americans.
The bill, HR 3009, is officially called the Enforce the Law For Sanctuary Cities Act. It would deny federal grant money to cities that limit who they turn over to immigration enforcement officials or hold in their jails for them.
Trump blamed the death of Kathryn Steinle, the shooting victim, on San Francisco's policies, to bolster the anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant comments he made when he declared his presidential bid.
Although some in the GOP have spoken out against Obama's comments, after quietly ignoring them initially, the bill that Trump's campaign platform, Republican lawmakers wasted little time in moving the legislation on the issue that is drawing national attention because of Trump's campaign rhetoric.
The administration said Congress should allow the Department of Homeland Security's Priority Enforcement Program, which allows federal and state law enforcement to arrest people who are a priority for deportation - convicted criminals and those who might cause the public harm and people arrested at the border or ports of entry _ time to work.
"Finally, the bill would condition federal money on state and local governments allowing their law enforcement officials to gather citizenship and immigration status information from any person at any time for any reason," the White House stated.
The White House said such "blankety authority" would threaten the civil rights of all Americans, create mistrust between federal and local and state law enforcement and impede enforcement of immigration laws.
An anti-immigration group, Numbers USA, also opposes the bill, saying it is weaker than an amendment to a spending bill that Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sponsored and was adopted by the House.