Senate Democrats Block Anti-Sanctuary City Bill

A bill that would have prohibited state and local jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities from obtaining certain federal funding was blocked along a largely party-line vote in the United States Senate on Tuesday.

The vote total was 54-45, falling short of the necessary 60 needed to move the legislation forward. 

The bill was in part inspired by the recent murder of Kate Steinle, shot in a random act of violence in San Francisco, CA in July.

Steinle's alleged killer, Francisco Sanchez, was illegally in the United States and had been deported by immigration authorities five times prior. He was also on probation out of Texas at the time of the murder.

Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a sponsor of the bill, said, "Sanctuary cities and the associated violent crimes by illegal immigrants are reaching a critical point, and we cannot wait any longer to take action to protect Americans here at home."

Senate Democrats and the White House felt differently.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) said prior to the legislation being voted on, "This vile legislation might as well be called 'The Donald Trump Act.' Like the disgusting and outrageous language championed by Donald Trump, this legislation paints all immigrants as 'criminals and rapists.'"

The White House had also threatened to veto the legislation had it passed, citing its lack of a comprehensive solution to the larger issues concerning immigration.