WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R—Tenn.) introduced legislation to block certain federal funds to sanctuary states, including states that defy federal immigration enforcement or that allow illegal aliens to get driver licenses without proof of lawful presence.
“No town in America is secure from criminals and terrorists if our borders aren’t policed and federal immigration laws aren’t fully enforced,” said Senator Blackburn. “This country is governed by the rule of law. We should not reward illegal aliens with driver licenses when they fail to follow the proper legal process.”
On 9/11, terrorists hijacked airplanes killing thousands of innocent civilians. Those 19 hijackers were here on temporary visas and held a combined 30 state-issued licenses.
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The Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act halts certain Department of Justice grant funding to states that defy federal immigration law. Non-complying states will no longer enjoy access to millions of dollars in funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG program provides substantial support on a yearly basis to states for local law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives. In FY 2020, states that issued driver licenses to illegal immigrants received over $53 million from this program. This law will require states that issue driver licenses to illegal aliens or states that fail to share immigration enforcement information with the DHS to return unallocated funds to the JAG program within 30 days. Further, these states will be ineligible to receive future JAG funds until they comply with the driver license and federal information sharing provisions.
The REAL ID Act was passed in the wake of 9/11, after the terrorist hijackers easily obtained state driver licenses allowing them to board planes to launch their deadly attacks. Now, less than 20 years later, over a dozen states are already working to reverse efforts to ensure identification security. Some state laws, like California’s law and New York’s Green Light Law, go further than providing driver licenses to illegal aliens. Many of these sanctuary states also forbid local authorities from transferring information about potentially dangerous criminal aliens to DHS. Just last month, in New York City, a 92-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by an illegal alien who was released from custody, despite being subject to a federal detainer—due to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lax sanctuary city policy.