Feb 6 2020


During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump highlighted a legislation introduced by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that would allow victims to sue sanctuary cities.

“Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens. In sanctuary cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed,” President Trump said. “Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue sanctuary cities and states when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly practices. I ask Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act immediately. The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens.”

The Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act would create a private right of civil action for the victims of sanctuary jurisdictions, allowing them to bring an action for compensatory damages against the sanctuary jurisdiction as a result of a violent crime committed by an illegal immigrant. The bill allows “any individual, spouse, or child who is a victim [of] a violent crime or felony” to sue, if the injury results from a local municipality not cooperating with an ICE detainer or other request from the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary from Tillis’s office.

Sen. Tillis provided a statement in response to Trump’s mention Tuesday night.

“Thank you to President Trump for taking the time in his State of the Union speech to highlight the danger sanctuary policies bring to families across the country,” said Senator Tillis. “These reckless policies are being implemented in North Carolina’s largest counties and putting families at risk, and that is why I have introduced multiple bills and worked with local sheriffs to change federal law and make communities safer. I will continue to work with my colleagues and President Trump to end sanctuary policies once and for all, and I appreciate the Administration’s commitment to work with Congress to protect Americans from the reckless policies.”

Major provisions of the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act include:

  • Defining a “Sanctuary Jurisdiction”
  • Establishing civil action for the victims or family members of crimes committed by illegal immigrants benefiting from a sanctuary policy
  • Withholding grant funding for jurisdictions that refuse to comply with lawful requests