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Rep. John Katko votes in favor of immigration bills that cut federal grant money to ‘sanctuary cities’

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Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) voted in favor of two legislations cutting funds to so-called "sanctuary cities" and toughening penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being deported.

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed two immigration bills that would crack down on illegal immigration and cut federal taxpayer grant money to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws.

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) voted in favor of both bills, pitting him against Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who in January declared Syracuse a sanctuary city.

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which passed the House of Representatives Thursday, withholds certain federal grants from cities that prohibit police officers from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Miner said during her State of the City address in January that Syracuse Police Department resources will not be used to enforce federal anti-immigration policies.

Grants on the chopping block under the bill passed by the House include funds for community policing, anti-terrorism and naturalization programs through the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

The act also requires undocumented immigrants convicted of drunken driving or other dangerous crimes to be detained for the length of their removal proceedings.

Kate’s Law,” the other immigration bill passed by the House Thursday, would increase prison sentences for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being deported.

The bill is named after Kathryn Steinle, a woman shot by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times with prior felony convictions but had returned to the U.S.

The bills must be approved by the Senate and the president before becoming law.

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