Rasmussen: Most Americans back Rep. Barletta's bill to defund sanctuary cities

May 11, 2011
Press Release


WASHINGTON– A national poll by Rasmussen Reports show that 59 percent of Americans support a new bill being drafted by U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, that would cut off federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities.

The Rasmussen survey showed that three out of five likely voters favor a cutoff of federal funds to sanctuary cities. Just 28 percent are opposed and 13 percent say they are not sure.

Also, 58 percent of voters think the U.S. Department of Justice should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twenty-six percent (26 percent) oppose having the Department of Justice prosecute sanctuary cities, and 16 percent are not sure.

On May 4, Rep. Barletta announced that he is finishing drafting his first piece of legislation, the “Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act,” or MASC Act. This bill will crack down on cities whose elected officials willfully choose to not enforce immigration policy by withholding all federal funding from them as long as their sanctuary policies are in place.

“The people of the 11th District know that illegal immigration is a serious problem that affects all of us. It’s good to see that people in the rest of the country feel the same way. Elected officials of local municipalities cannot pick and choose the federal laws they enforce. If the elected leaders of these cities choose to ignore federal law, they should not expect to get federal money. That’s just common sense,” Rep. Barletta said.

“I stood up against illegal immigration as a mayor because I saw the effect it was having on my small city’s limited budget. Now I can really see that, at the federal level, this problem is costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars a year. The American people are tired of seeing their money wasted, and the Rasmussen poll clearly shows they feel sanctuary cities do not deserve federal money as long as they willfully ignore federal law,” Rep. Barletta added.

The Rasmussen poll shows that 65 percent of likely voters oppose the establishment of sanctuary cities; only 17 percent support their creation, and 18 percent are undecided.