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Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law and H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.

Full remarks are below or watch online here.

“Mr. Speaker, there are some debates on this floor that are very complicated. They hinge on technicalities, complex judgment calls. You need to properly weigh all the data, all the studies, and all the nuances.

“But I will tell you Mr. Speaker, that today’s debate is not complicated. This is not about a nuance. The subject is not complex. This is about answering a simple question: Is the purpose of our government to protect the American people first? Or is the purpose of our government to protect felons who have entered our country illegally, broken our laws, and threatened our people?

“I wish this was an exaggeration. But American citizens have died because some local governments have refused to uphold our laws.

“These so-called sanctuary cities offer safety for illegal felons, but they do so by putting our families, our neighbors, and our fellow Americans in danger.

“The American people now look to their government, and you know what? They are uncertain. They elected people to represent them, but would those representatives rather protect felons here illegally or their fellow citizens?

“As far as this House is concerned, let us end the uncertainty today. Our government should and always will put the safety of the American people first. Cities offering sanctuary for criminals will no longer be ignored, and criminals who threaten our citizens and reenter our country with no respect for our laws will be punished.

“Kate Steinle, an American citizen, a daughter, and a promising young woman would be alive today if local governments did not act as safe havens for lawbreakers. Juan Lopez-Sanchez shot Kate after being deported five times. He had seven felony convictions before he murdered her.

“After this crime we asked the same questions the rest of America did. How could this man be let free? Why was he in America in the first place? And how can cities across our nation continue to shield such people from the law?

“In America, the federal government has little right to tell states and localities how to conduct affairs properly left to them. But our federal government has every right to demand that these governments follow our just laws written in accordance with our Constitution.

“And if they do not, if those cities protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, they should not expect their fellow citizens to help them through the federal government.

“For those cities with laws designed to harbor immigrants who have entered this country illegally, our legislation will prohibit those laws, cut off federal grant money, and allow the families who suffer as a result of their foolishness the right to have their day in court.

“And to the criminals, if you break our laws and ever return––justice will come for you and the penalty will be severe.

“Mr. Speaker, being an American means something. We should never forget that. If America is your home, if you are a citizen, if you are a part of this national community, rest assured: the government is here for you. The American people come first.”