Mar. 31, 2017

HARRISBURG—Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) today formally introduced her legislation to allow those injured by illegal immigrants to sue so-called “sanctuary cities” and municipalities that refuse to co-operate with federal immigration officials.

House Bill 28 would also withhold Commonwealth funds from sanctuary cities that are not constitutionally mandated.

In the last session, the House passed White’s similar legislation—House Bill 1885. But the session ended without the bill reaching the governor’s desk.

“I am committed to keeping citizens safe and preventing illegal immigrants who commit crimes in our communities from being released back onto our streets,” White said. “This is about the safety of families throughout the Commonwealth, and holding accountable those city officials who consider themselves above the law.”

White’s new legislation would hold any “sanctuary municipality” liable for damages to persons or property as a result of criminal activity by unauthorized aliens if:
  • It has been determined by federal immigration officials that the person who engaged in the criminal activity is an unauthorized alien.
  • The criminal activity occurred in the sanctuary municipality.
  • The unauthorized alien is convicted of the criminal activity.
  • The criminal activity is a proximate cause of the injury.
The legislation also prevents an official or employee of the municipality from restricting the:
  • Sending to or receiving from federal immigration officials any information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of an individual.
  • Exchanging information, with regard to an individual, with other federal agencies, state agencies or municipalities.
  • Inquiring about an individual’s name, date and place of birth and immigration status after an arrest.
  • Requesting an applicant for state or local public benefits to provide proof of eligibility.

Under this legislation, if a law enforcement officer of a municipality has reasonable suspicion that an individual, who is lawfully under arrest, is not legally present in the United States, he or she must immediately report the individual to the appropriate United States immigration officials.
“This is a bi-partisan issue. Democratic leaders including Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and President Obama’s administration have all spoken out against sanctuary city policies. Mayor Kenney is risking the loss of federal and state funding by defending a policy that is unlawful and ignores the negative impact it has had on our citizens,” White said.

Representative Martina White
170th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207 /