North Valley community worried about impact from bills aimed to toughen up immigration enforcement

EMBED </>More Videos

Two bills are moving forward after the House passed legislation targeting funding for sanctuary cities, and strengthening immigration enforcement. (KFSN)

Two bills are moving forward after the House passed legislation targeting funding for sanctuary cities, and strengthening immigration enforcement.

"We are a nation of laws and we will no longer look the other way," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said.

The bills hit close to home for Livingston, more than 40-percent of the city's population is from another country and they recently declared themselves a sanctuary city. Some city leaders said regardless of legal status criminals will be handled as so.

"On the portion of Kate's Law, I totally agree with that. Doesn't matter if you're a-- what your status is-- criminals need to be punished regardless of your status," said Grupal Samara, Livingston Mayor Pro-Tem.

But critics of the bills say call it an attack on immigrant communities.

"I think Kate's Law is a way for our Republicans to villainies immigrants," said Alex McCabe, Livingston City Council Member.

Kate's Law aims to enhance penalties for convicted and deported criminals who re-enter the country illegally. Another immigration bill called the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" would hold certain federal funds from sanctuary cities such as Livingston.

The city's police department relies on grants-- they currently have one that funds a full time officer.

Livingston Police Chief Ruben Chavez said, "If that were to be cut, it would impact us and we'd have to find other funding sources to fund that officer."

But McCabe said he is taking action now and has started his own source of back up funding in case government money is cut.

"I've made it so 50-percent of every dollar I earn is going to my non-profit. I will be directing the proceeds of that non-profit to do the stop gap funding if need be."

City officials said the amount cut can vary, but the immediate about would be $90,000 to $150,000.

The bills will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationsenatecongressmerced countyLivingston
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments
MERCED COUNTY
More merced county

POLITICS
More Politics

Top Stories
Show More