The Obama administration on Thursday threatened to veto a House bill that would strip federal law enforcement grants from "sanctuary cities."

The bill would deny cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws certain Justice Department grants, and is expected to get a House vote on Thursday. The bill is a response to the shooting death of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times.

An illegal immigrant, Francisco Sanchez, was a convicted felon but was released from custody by law enforcement in San Francisco in April, despite a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement order to hold him so he could again be deported. He has been charged with killing the 32-year-old Steinle.

But a White House statement indicated that the Obama administration doesn't see that event as a reason to pressure sanctuary cities to enforce federal laws.

"This bill fails to offer comprehensive reforms needed to fix the nation's broken immigration laws, undermines current administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals and to work collaboratively with state and local law enforcement agencies, and threatens the civil rights of all Americans by authorizing state and local officials to collect information regarding any private citizen's immigration status, at any time, for any reason, and without justification," the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement of administration policy issued Thursday morning.

"If the President were presented with H.R. 3009, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill," the statement said.

The veto threat was released just moments before Steinle's father was set to testify in a House subcommittee on the threat that sanctuary cities pose to public safety.

It also came just one day after White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the administration didn't take such legislation "particularly seriously."

Obama has used his executive authority to band-aid the nation's broken immigration system because of Republican inaction on comprehensive, federal legislation, Earnest said on Wednesday.

Democratic legislation that the Senate passed but the House never took up "included an historic investment in border security," Earnest said.

"It also would have ramped up interior enforcement of immigration laws against dangerous individuals; it would have enhanced penalties for repeat immigration violators with sentences of up to 20 years for certain aliens who were convicted of felonies prior to their previous removal or departure," he said. "It would have increased penalties for passport and immigration document trafficking and fraud. And it would have made it easier to remove and deport individuals convicted of gang-related crimes, or who have been repeatedly convicted of drunk-driving violations."

But GOP refusal to pass that bill and instead take up measures such as the defunding one is "why we don't take those legislative proposals particularly seriously," Earnest said.

The White House said it would prefer that Congress pass the Senate's immigration reform bill from the last Congress, and said public safety is already being handled by the Obama administration's new immigration enforcement priorities. Those priorities, however, have been blasted by Republicans as weakening public safety.

"The administration continues to believe that it is critical to fix the nation's broken immigration system through comprehensive commonsense legislation that builds on existing efforts to strengthen border security, cracks down on employers hiring undocumented workers, streamlines legal immigration, and offers an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to get right with the law if they pass background checks, contribute to the nation's economy by paying taxes, and go to the back of the line," the White House said.

The White House said its deportation priority list works when state and municipal authorities comply.

"The administration has put in place new enforcement priorities that … [focus] limited resources on the worst offenders – national security threats, convicted criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers," the statement said. "The effectiveness of these new priorities depends on collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement."

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