President Barack Obama continued his policy of protecting illegal immigration Tuesday, threatening to veto any Senate legislation cracking down on “sanctuary cities” that shield illegal immigrants from federal authorities.
The Senate is holding a procedural vote on the legislation Tuesday. The bill by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter would punish jurisdictions that prohibit the collection of immigration information or don’t cooperate with federal requests. It would block them from receiving certain grants and funds.
Republicans pushed the bill after the July 1 shooting of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. The man charged in the killing was in the country illegally despite a long criminal record and multiple prior deportations.
The House passed a similar bill this summer.
The White House said in a statement that the bill could lead to mistrust between the federal government and local governments.
The bill’s supporters promise it will lead to more cooperation — and safer cities.
The Associated Press contributed to this story