Lawmakers debate sanctuary city policy

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis led the hearing Tuesday into the impact of sanctuary cities and the crimes committed by illegal immigrants released from those jurisdictions.

“There’s a lot of data out there where serious criminals are being released,” Tillis (R-NC) said.

Tillis invited Andrew Murray, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, to share examples of how sanctuary cities threaten public safety.

“There are certainly immigrants that get out and had been re-arrested after committing heinous crimes and they’re the only ones getting caught,” Murray said.

Tillis introduced a bill in Congress that would allow victims of a violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants to sue sanctuary cities.

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said she has “serious concerns of the ramifications of passing such a bill.”

“Obviously not all of these were determined to be violent offenders,” Hirono said in the hearing room Tuesday as she questioned Timothy Robbins, Acting Executive Associate Director of ICE.

Hirono and other Democratic members of the committee want to ensure the legislation doesn’t go too far.

Tillis said it’s necessary.

“We’re not talking about somebody who stole a magazine, we’re talking about people who are repeat offenders for DUI, domestic violence, murder, rape, burglary, assault that needs to be the priority,” Tillis added.

The bill is currently awaiting further debate and doesn’t have any Democratic co-sponsors.

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