- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 30, 2017

The U.S. Capitol itself follows a sanctuary city policy that protects illegal immigrants from being turned over to deportation agents, a Republican congressman said, announcing new legislation to scrap that policy.

Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, said Capitol Police don’t have clear permission to handle immigration violations, so they often don’t bother to check the legal status of those they arrest for other offenses in the Capitol complex.

That leads to bizarre situations where illegal immigrants proudly proclaim their unauthorized status in the U.S., while protesting or blockading offices. They are processed and released without being turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“The Capitol Police, a federal law enforcement agency, do not have explicit statutory authority to enforce our immigration laws,” Mr. King said.

Analysts said it was bizarre that one federal law enforcement agency wouldn’t communicate with another.

While Mr. King’s bill deals specifically with changing the policy at the Capitol Police, the problem extends to other federal law enforcement agencies.

In particular the U.S. Park Police, which patrol large swaths of the Washington metropolitan region, has also followed a sanctuary policy.

That means illegal immigrants protesting at the White House — including some who chained themselves to the White House fence in a demonstration several years ago — were not turned over to immigration authorities.

“We’re not concerned with their immigration status,” a Park Police officer told The Washington Times at the time of the demonstrations.

They were processed, fined and released, the officer said.

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