Smith Authors Bill Defunding Sanctuary Cities

Feb 06, 2017

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08) filed H.R.824, the No Transportation Funds for Sanctuary Cities Act, to block Federal Highway Trust fund dollars from being awarded to states and local governments if they fail to obey federal immigration laws and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requests.

Before Congressman Smith introduced the bill, he said, “Over 300 cities and counties employ policies to stonewall the federal government and prevent the Department of Homeland Security from effectively enforcing our immigration laws. We are a nation of law and order, and cities that actively work against the law of the land should face consequences. That’s why I introduced the No Transportation Funds for Sanctuary Cities Act to cut off the spigot of federal funds to cities and counties that fail to work with us to Make America Safe.”

As President Trump and Congress begin work on policies to enable new and robust investments into our nation’s roads, rails, tunnels, waterways and airports it is important that municipalities across the country know that unless they observe and follow U.S. immigration laws and policies, they will no longer be eligible for federal infrastructure investments in their communities. Smith’s goal is to codify the prohibition of taxpayer funds released to sanctuary cities in order to secure our borders and make local communities safer.

Smith noted after he filed the bill, “When cities fail to adhere with Federal law enforcement requests our citizens are put in danger. The American people spoke in November and support President Trump’s no-nonsense plan to enforce existing laws to protect our citizens. Because states, counties, and cities have failed to comply with Federal law, we have to use Congressional power of the purse to require these cities to abide by Federal immigration laws. If cities fail to comply with DHS requests, they shouldn’t receive Highway Trust Fund dollars or any highway grants, period.”

Note: Highway Trust Fund dollars have been successfully used three times in the past to encourage states to comply with Federal Standards. Most notably, Louisiana complied with the Federal requirement to lift their drinking age to 21 years-old after the Federal government pulled part of their Highway Trust Fund dollars for failure to comply.