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Border Security

Bill creates jail time for pols blocking immigration enforcement after Steinle verdict

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An Indiana congressman introduced legislation Monday that puts new criminal penalties for elected officials who obstruct federal immigration enforcement efforts.

“The American people are rightfully infuriated watching politicians put their open-borders ideology before the rule of law, and the safety of the people they represent,” said Rep. Theodore E. “Todd” Rokita (R.-Ind.).

The introduction of Rokita’s H.R. 4526, the Stopping Lawless Acts of Politicians, or SLAP Act, comes on the heels of a not-guilty verdict in the case of Jose Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who was acquitted of the murder of Kate Steinle, a resident of San Francisco, he said.

“Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” he said.

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“Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so,” the congressman said.

“It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them,” he said.

Attorney General Jefferson B. “Jeff” Sessions III said he was upset with the verdict.

“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” Sessions said.

“San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle,” he said. “While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death—a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer—the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm.”

The Federalist reported that DOJ is weighing federal charges against Zarate.

Rokita’s bill would hand officials interfering with the enforcement of immigration laws a sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million for elected officials who prevent federal immigration authorities from carrying out their duties in so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco.

“This elitist mentality that everyone is not equal under the law must come to an end,” Rokita said.

“These politicians want one set of rules for hard-working Americans, but a different set of rules for illegal immigrants, and themselves.”

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