PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is used to taking a beating in Harrisburg from rural and suburban legislators, but Mayor Jim Kenney is outraged that a member of the city’s own delegation is sponsoring a bill that would punish her constituents for the sanctuary city policy.
The bill would leave the city open to lawsuits for any damages resulting from crimes committed by “unauthorized aliens” as long as the city maintains its policy of not co-operating with federal authorities in reporting the detention of those here illegally.
When State Representative Martina White, who represents the Northeast, introduced it in March, Mayor Kenney was conciliatory, saying it likely appealed to her Republican base, but when it passed out of committee on Tuesday, he got worried.
“If this kind of legislation gets passed because of a Republican national election, that’s a disgrace,” the mayor said.
Kenney accused White of “dogwhistling” on immigration for the Republican nominee at the expense of the people she represents.
“When you’re talking about taking money away from poor children, children with disabilities, children with mental health problems, then you ought to look at why you’re in office in the first place,” Kenney said.
Representative White could not be reached for comment.