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Florida Politics

Francis Rooney Wants to Cut Off Funds to Sanctuary Cities Despite Voting Against Trump on Immigration

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Rooney introduced a bill which would “prohibit a sanctuary jurisdiction from receiving federal financial assistance and protects local law enforcement officers within sanctuaries cities who cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security.”

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Despite voting against President Donald Trump’s executive action to secure the southern border from illegal immigration, last week U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., introduced a bill which would cut off funds to sanctuary cities.

Rooney introduced a bill which would “prohibit a sanctuary jurisdiction from receiving federal financial assistance and protects local law enforcement officers within sanctuaries cities who cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security” and he offered the rationale behind his proposal.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions that harbor criminal illegal aliens are a clear violation of federal law and place citizens of their communities in danger. As I have stated on many occasions, we are a nation of laws – we cannot make exceptions based on feelings and emotion. If these cities choose to break federal law, they should not be rewarded with funding,” Rooney said last week.

Rooney has a tough road to hoe in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary and the Oversight and Reform Committees last week and, so far, Rooney has not been able to reel in any cosponsors. As of now, there is no version of the bill over in the U.S. Senate.

In the meantime, Rooney doubled down on his opposition to Trump’s executive action, saying he has constitutional concerns. Rooney voted to override the veto though that effort fell short of the votes needed to do so.

Last month, Rooney was one of only 13 Republicans who voted with the House Democrats on the matter.

“My vote to override a veto of the resolution to rescind the national emergency declaration was based on the U.S. Constitution and had nothing to do with President Trump,” Rooney said last week. “I care deeply about securing our border and have both cosponsored and voted in favor of multiple bills to accomplish this and provide fixes to our broken immigration and visa systems. We need to secure our southern border and control who enters and leaves. This can be accomplished with the right combination of defensive barriers including walls and fences, surveillance technology, and vigorous enforcement of our laws.

“My vote was based on the rule of law and the constitutional separation of powers. Although it is true that there have been over 60 national emergency declarations since 1976, no previous declaration was in direct contrast to a vote of Congress and none dealt with appropriation and allocation of money – which is the sole responsibility of the congressional branch,” Rooney added.

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Before the vote on Trump’s executive action, Rooney had been considered a backer of the White House on the matter. Back in January, Rooney brought out the “Asylum Protection Act of 2019,” a bill “amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to reduce the deadline for asylum applications and require applicants to begin the asylum process at the time of their arrival at a legal port of entry.”

“Illegal immigrants are abusing the asylum process in the United States,” Rooney said when he introduced the bill in January. “I introduced the Asylum Protection Act to shorten the deadlines by which asylum applications must be submitted to prevent the stay of illegal immigrants and to prioritize those in legitimate fear of persecution.

“Further, this bill will require applicants to begin the asylum process upon their arrival to the United States at a legal port of entry, something the existing law does not require. This bill is crucial to eliminating fraud in the asylum process and securing our nation’s borders,” Rooney added.

At the start of the year, Rooney’s office showcased the Southwest Florida Republican’s efforts, including his support of the Trump administration.

“Congressman Rooney again affirmed his commitment to securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration, asylum and visa systems by voting against legislation that failed to provide any new funding for a wall or barrier along our southern border. Congressman Rooney has been working with administration to link specific investments in portions of the wall with the number of illegal crossings which will be interdicted if these investments are made. We as a nation cannot continue to allow unvetted, illegal entrants into the United States. We must secure our borders now,” Rooney’s office noted at the start of January

During his first term in Congress, Rooney was a member of the House Border Security Caucus and he threw his support to immigration reform and border security bills as a cosponsor.

Kevin Derby can be reached at


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.



  1. Jim Fox

    April 1, 2019, 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm

    The Border Patrol, DHS, ICE our Military & the Army Corps of Engineers have all endorsed the need for a wall numerous times almost nightly. Barrack Obama’s own border patrol chief, Mark Morgan, has repeatedly stated that walls work. They free up resources to focus on the points of entrances so they can detect more contraband and illegals.

    Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done) then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, (nothing done) now Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be done…who’s next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Most of these killers have been deported numerous times. Bambi ‘s killer claimed “amnesty” to get into the country. Sanctuary city’s where you have protection for illegal aliens, gang members, illegal alien felons fleeing ICE. What a place to raise a family.

  2. Jim Fox

    April 1, 2019, 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm

    Democrats offer rewards, incentives so…..More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you’re child but will also give you state government assistance.

    TPS / DACA
    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing “temporary or deferred” about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

  3. Jim Fox

    April 1, 2019, 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

    *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

    *Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

    *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

    *Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance. 120 billion total was sent out of the country in total remittance last year.

    *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

    * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens & their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for emergency housing.

    * City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications….everything. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

    *Congress is debating DACA and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank the parents and Barrack Obama.

    *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search “cost of illegal immigration.”

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