U.S. Rep. Ken Buck has introduced legislation to revoke federal funding to states that issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and fail to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on immigration matters.
“Just last year in my home state of Colorado, Sean Buchanan, a loving father of five, was struck and killed by Miguel Ramirez Valiente,” said Buck, referring to the undocumented driver who is accused of killing Buchanan in Colorado Springs in August 2019. Ramirez Valiente had an arrest record which included driving under the influence and domestic violence.
“Ramirez Valiente should have been deported after a DUI conviction, but because of Colorado’s sanctuary laws, officials provided him sanctuary and shielded him from deportation,” Buck added.
The bill, titled the Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act, would deny funding through the federal Justice Assistance Grant program to states that issue driver’s licenses to non-citizens who are not lawfully present and that prohibit information-sharing with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration.
Cities and states that have declared themselves “sanctuaries” take the position that local law enforcement should not perform the work of federal immigration authorities.
In 2018, Colorado received $2.1 million from the JAG program, amounting to grants for 45 agencies. The funds covered police radios, mentoring for at-risk youth and patrol vehicles, among other projects.