This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3009, an anti-immigrant bill which would prevent local governments from passing community-policing strategies that restore trust between local law enforcement and the immigrant community. H.R. 3009, which is being called the “[Donald] Trump Act,” would prohibit Department of Justice grants to local police departments that prioritize community trust and due process by limiting the relationship between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement. The House vote came after the White House threatened to veto the legislation.
Representatives Black, Blackburn, Cooper, Desjarlais, Fincher, Fleischmann, Duncan, and Roe voted for H.R. 3009. Representative Cohen was the only Tennessee Representative to oppose the legislation.
TIRRC denounces H.R. 3009 and the decision by eight of our Members of Congress to support the legislation.
We have been waiting years for Congress to take meaningful action to update our nation’s broken immigration system. Instead of reform, immigrant communities have been devastated by an out-of-control enforcement regime that separates families, largely through creating a deportation pipeline from our local jails. In contrast to the inaction by Congress, local governments across the country have passed policies that build and strengthen the relationship between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. If enacted, H.R.3009 would prohibit local governments that have adopted these common-sense policies from receiving critical public safety funding.
H.R. 3009 was advanced in reaction to the tragic death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, but rather than introducing legislation that meaningfully advances public safety, the House has instead passed a bill that scapegoats immigrant communities in an irresponsible, knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy.
The following is a quote from Stephanie Teatro, Co-Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:
“After Davidson County’s devastating experiment with 287(g), Tennessee communities know well that local governments should be able to set reasonable limits on the collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE. Trust between the immigrant community and local police in Nashville continues to be undermined by the legacy of 287(g) and the ongoing presence of ICE in our jails.
H.R. 3009 is a step in the wrong direction. We urge Senators Corker and Alexander, who have supported more comprehensive immigration reform, to oppose this ill-conceived legislation should it be voted upon in the Senate.”