Senate Republicans are punting on a bill targeting “sanctuary cities,” Politico reports. It’s a signal that GOP lawmakers are struggling to coalesce around a legislative response to the shooting death of a San Francisco woman by an undocumented immigrant earlier this year. The “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act,” had been scheduled to be marked up tomorrow in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it’s been delayed again. “The members are still working on improving the language, so it will be held over,” said Beth Levine, a spokeswoman for Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Republicans on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail have condemned the circumstances that led to the death of Kate Steinle on a popular San Francisco pier in July. Authorities say Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, a Mexican national who was here illegally, fired the shot that killed Steinle, and officials say Lopez Sanchez had been deported five times but had found his way back into the U.S. each time. GOP lawmakers crafted several bills to punish “sanctuary cities” that decline to cooperate with federal immigration officials trying to track down undocumented immigrants. In the Senate, Republicans disagreed on a proposal that would enact a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years for immigrants who try to re-enter the country illegally after being deported.