Pennsylvania Senate OKs bill to punish sanctuary cities

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A bill on the move in the Pennsylvania Legislature would punish municipalities that refuse to detain people suspected by federal immigration authorities of being in the country illegally.

The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill, 34-14, and sent it to the House of Representatives, which passed a similar bill earlier this month. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s office says he’ll review the bill if it reaches his desk.

Under the bill, sanctuary cities would lose access to state law enforcement grants.

The bill also would make a sanctuary city liable for an injury or property damage caused by someone released from custody, despite a detainer request by federal immigration authorities.

Sanctuary cities, including Philadelphia, say they have better relations with immigrant communities in fighting crime or that they can be sued for holding someone who is in the country legally on a federal immigration detainer.

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