America may have one less sanctuary city if a new bill in the Republican-controlled U.S. House becomes law.
The Daily Caller reported that Rep. Louie Gohmert's (R-Texas) new proposal, called the "Safer D.C. Act," would require city officials to report information to the Department of Homeland Security to determine the immigration status of anyone arrested in the District of Columbia.
Under this act, failure to report an illegal immigrant to DHS could result in a $10,000 fine. If a person is in the country illegally, DHS will issue a detainer and D.C. law enforcement would be required to hold the foreign national in custody for up to two days.
Gohmert said that D.C.'s status as a "sanctuary city" is a threat to "the innocent and precious lives" of the city's residents.
“Protecting Americans from the violence of criminals illegally in the country should be a top priority. This administration has been so intentionally and recklessly dysfunctional in protecting our country that in the fiscal year 2014, 36.7 percent of all federal sentences were for crimes by people who are not even legally in the country,” Gohmert said in a statement.
“This type of limitation simply should not be the case," he continued. "It is time to take action and start protecting cities and citizens from crimes which may be prevented with proper checking, communication and accountability between departments.”
The push to strip Washington D.C. of its sanctuary city status comes just a week after the House voted to take away federal funds from cities that ignore federal immigration law.
Several Democrats, including D.C.'s delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, vowed to fight Gohmert's bill.
Norton said on the House floor that the congressman's bill could deter illegal immigrants from going to police and reporting crimes.
The delegate's fears may be overstated.
Many illegal immigrants already do not report crimes. A study done by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that illegal immigrants were 70 percent less likely to contact the police if they were victims of a crime.