Senate Dems block two bills intended to curb illegal immigration

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WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Wednesday successfully blocked pair of bills that sought chip away sanctuary city ordinances — one which would have siphoned off federal money to municipalities that embrace the policies and another that would have increased penalties for repeat deportation offenders.

The bills — Kate’s Law (S. 2193) and the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act (S. 3100)  — failed to garner cloture in the Senate in respective votes of 55-42 and 53-44.

Kate’s Law, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), was named after Kate Steinle, who was gunned down at a San Francisco pier by an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had a record of seven felonies and five previous deportations. Kate’s Law sought to boost the maximum sentence for illegal reentry following a deportation order, specifically levying maximum 10-year sentences for those deported or denied admission at least three times.

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), had received strong support from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit that bills itself as a nonpartisan organization committed to backing efforts to update immigration laws.

“The U.S. Senate cannot in good conscience look the other way while certain state and local municipalities decide to blatantly defy or obstruct federal law, putting their residents, and the nation, at greater risk from criminal aliens and potential terrorists, FAIR President Dan Stein said Wednesday in a prepared statement released ahead of the Senate vote. “This bill will provide some modicum of justice for the family of Kate Steinle, a woman who would still be with us today if San Francisco had followed federal immigration law in the first place.”

Stein has yet to release a similar statement regarding the failure of the two bills to gain cloture, the lone procedure that allows senators to place a time limit on consideration of a bill in order to survive a filibuster.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), currently embroiled in a heated reelection bid, had been a strong backer of both proposals.