Rep. Duncan Hunter: Cut Federal Funding to Sanctuary Cities

By Susan Jones | July 9, 2015 | 7:01am EDT
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) (AP File Photo)

( - "Cutting federal funding -- it's that simple," Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) said on Wednesday, when he was asked how to address the problem of cities such as San Francisco that offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants, including those with criminal histories.

Hunter said California received $40 million in federal funding last year to detain illegal aliens until immigration officials could take custody of them.

"About $40 million -- pull that away. And then we can start looking to other things, too. That's one of the few things that we can do here," Hunter told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.

"We can create law but we can withhold funding. So, let's start withholding federal funding, and hopefully you will see these cities start to realize that they need that federal transportation funding. That they need that federal education funding. But that's one of the things we can do here."

Hunter said the odds of passing such a bill are "pretty high."

"With the Republican Senate, I mean, we can put t his on the president's desk. The big question is whether he sign it?"

Hunter said pressure from the American people would help Congress "do our job."

Appearing with Hunter on the O'Reilly Factor, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) talked about "Kate's Law," a bill he's writing that would send criminal aliens to jail for at least five years, mandatory, if they return to the United States after deportation.

The bill is named after 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle, shot and killed as she walked with her father and a friend along the San Francisco waterfront. The man suspected of killing her is an illegal alien from Mexico -- a seven-time felon and five-time border-jumper.

Franciso Sanchez was on the streets because San Francisco, as a sanctuary city, does not honor federal requests to hold illegal aliens until Immigration and Customs Enforcement can take custody of them.
"First of all, you have got to deport them," Salmon said. "And then if they do come back -- then Kate's law would kick in, and they do a five-year minimum.

"And then what Duncan (Hunter) is doing." Salmon said he is working with Hunter on his bill to penalize sanctuary cities. "There is not going to be one solution," he said. "And we have to craft this language so tight, that there is no wiggle room for the Obama administration."

Salmon said he thinks the odds of passing Kate's Law "are pretty good right now."

"I think that the cry right now across America is pretty loud. Also, between 2010 and 2014, there were 122 murder victims as a direct result of illegal aliens who are actually let out of custody and were on the streets to kill innocent victims. This is a big problem."

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