PHILADELPHIA  (CBS) –  State Representative Martina White defended her bill that would punish Philadelphia and other sanctuary cities in Pennsylvania for not cooperating with federal authorities by reporting immigrants that are here illegally.

White told Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that many of her colleagues are lining up behind her.

 

“We have, I believe it’s 34 right now, representatives that are in support of this bill. They’ve signed on as co-sponsors, Jamie Santora, he’s a great Rep. He know’s exactly what I’m talking about here when it comes to addressing the concerns of our constituents when it comes to illegal immigrants.”

She denied she’s gotten any pushback in Harrisburg at all.

“I haven’t had any Republican come up to me and say, Martina, this is a bad idea. I think a lot of them are impressed with the fact that I’m from Philadelphia, I’m living in a sanctuary city and that I’m willing to propose this legislation on behalf of my constituents, who are concerned. I think that they see it also as a concern for their areas because this is something that can spread, it can go further out to other municipalities.”

White said she respects the opposition she’s received from protesters but thinks they are only trying to divert attention from the focus of the bill.

“I just feel that it’s a distraction from the issue. When people react that way, using terms the way that they did, personal attacks against me, it’s kind of funny in some ways. I see it as them using their freedom of speech, which is fine. I definitely appreciate that. I’m sure that’s a reason why people want to come to our country, but it’s important to stay focused on the issue.”