Rabb to introduce 'sanctuary commonwealth' bill

Wants to keep kids and parents together, protect Pa. police from unfunded mandate

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., plans to introduce a "sanctuary commonwealth" bill to keep families together and maintain trust between Pennsylvania police and the communities they serve.

Rabb's legislation would bar Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies from using agency or department funds, facilities, property, equipment or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes.

"Some in Harrisburg are busy attacking sanctuary cities again, even though sanctuary cities create safer communities. Our communities are more stable when families are stable -- separating family members destabilizes our communities. Attacking sanctuary cities will not make us safer, as immigrants, both documented and not, are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S.," Rabb said.

"Pennsylvania and America are at our best when we live up to our founding principles and reject the outrageous rhetoric being spouted by too many in Harrisburg and Washington," he said.

Rabb said his bill would take the burden and cost of enforcing federal immigration law off local and state police in Pennsylvania.

"Instead of getting 'bad dudes' off our streets, the Trump administration's stepped-up raids are often rounding up people for relatively minor offenses or civil immigration law infractions and breaking up families,” Rabb said.

"My sanctuary commonwealth bill would protect our local police officers' ability to do their jobs. It would protect local and state taxpayers from being pressed into paying for the federal government's failure to enforce its own laws consistently, as well as Congress' failure to pass long-overdue comprehensive immigration reform."