House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Friday a new get-tough immigration bill that would build the rest of President Trump’s border wall, punish sanctuary cities and stiffen penalties on repeat-illegal immigrants.
The bill is unlikely to see action in the near future but instead serves as a marker for House Republicans as they prepare for what’s likely to be a renewed immigration debate in December or, should Democrats win control of the House, early next year.
“Maintaining strong borders is one of the basic responsibilities of any nation. For too long, America has failed in this responsibility,” Mr. McCarthy said in announcing the bill.
Mr. Trump is likely to be most excited about the wall funding, which is symbolically important to fulfilling a campaign pledge, but the more substantive parts of the bill deal with withholding federal money from sanctuary cities, shrinking several categories of humanitarian relief and boosting jail time for illegal immigrants who amass serious criminal records.
The bill does not cover illegal immigrant “Dreamers.”
An earlier GOP push this year for a crackdown strategy toward illegal immigration faltered after a number of Republicans were unable to back the legislation because it didn’t include full citizenship rights for millions of illegal immigrants.