U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) introduced legislation to stop American taxpayers from subsidizing Sanctuary Cities by tying federal funds to citizenship.
The Funding Americans First Act would require federal agencies to allocate grant funding to states and localities based on the number of U.S. citizens and legal residents only.
More than 130 federal programs use Census population data to calculate state and local grant funding levels, totaling nearly $690 billion. Currently, Census population data includes illegal immigrants, in addition to citizens and legal residents.
“No locality should get an illegal immigrant bonus,” Messer said. “Sanctuary states and cities in California continue to receive more funds simply because they choose to disobey the law and harbor illegal immigrants. My legislation would ensure Hoosiers aren’t subsidizing these sanctuary states and cities with their federal tax dollars.”
Sanctuary City San Jose, California has roughly the same population as Indianapolis (2 million), yet at least 180,000 of San Jose’s residents are illegal immigrants. San Jose has 66% more illegal immigrants than the entire state of Indiana combined.
Messer said San Jose’s illegal immigrant population should not qualify the city for increased federal funds. “President Trump is right: we must enforce our existing immigration laws, secure the border, and stop cities and states from profiting by breaking the law,” Messer said.Recently, California filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over adding citizenship to the Census. Several other states have signaled they intend to file similar lawsuits.
Messer’s bill would direct federal agencies to use the number of U.S. citizens residing in a state or locality, per the U.S. Census Bureau, when determining funding for block grants, categorical grants, or other federal resources.