Mayor criticizes White for sanctuary city bill

Opposing views: Mayor Jim Kenney criticized state Rep. Martina White, author of House Bill 1885, which would hold responsible any sanctuary city in Pennsylvania for the damages caused as a result of criminal activity by unauthorized aliens. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Surrogates from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will visit the Mayfair Diner on Friday morning to meet voters.

The event is set for 8 a.m.

Those expected to appear are Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on The Apprentice; Lara Trump, wife of Trump’s son, Eric; and campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.

The Mayfair Diner is at Frankford and Bleigh avenues.

Meanwhile, actor John Leguizamo campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia on Sunday, encouraging Pennsylvanians to register to vote ahead of the Oct. 11 deadline.

Among his stops was at Clinton’s office at 4426 Frankford Ave.

To register to vote, visit pavoterservices.state.pa.us

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Mayor Jim Kenney harshly criticized state Rep. Martina White, author of House Bill 1885, which passed the State Government Committee by a vote of 15–8. Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) voted against the measure.

House Bill 1885 would hold responsible any sanctuary city in Pennsylvania for the damages to persons or property as a result of criminal activity by unauthorized aliens.

Under the legislation, if a law enforcement officer of a municipality has identified an individual being arrested as not legally in the United States, he or she must immediately report the individual to the appropriate United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office within the Department of Homeland Security.

“I sincerely hope that the Republican Party wrote this legislation to help Donald Trump win Pennsylvania because if Rep. White actually wrote this bill with the intention of reducing crime then I have serious concerns about her understanding of the law, government and policing,” Kenney said. “In a year where we have already seen too much violence, this bill would make it even more difficult to solve and prevent crimes. Not only would it make undocumented residents far less likely to report or to act as a witness to a crime, this bill would weaken the trust between police and the communities they serve.

“Furthermore, and perhaps most hypocritically, this legislation would hurt the very people Rep. White claims to be protecting. If the city failed to comply with this incredibly dangerous law, we would lose funding for thousands of our most vulnerable children. If Rep. White wants to help those children, she needs to spend less time helping the Republican Party dog-whistle and more time working on school funding so that our children can actually have a safe, stable learning environment.”

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White, meanwhile, issued a statement following last week’s introduction of a City Council resolution urging the General Assembly to reject House Bill 1885.

The resolution was introduced by Councilman David Oh.

White said, “We now know money and politics are more important to Mayor Kenney and some members of City Council than public safety. My bill does not withhold a penny from Philadelphia if it follows the law as the Obama administration had requested. It will be the mayor’s decision. Is he with Philadelphians, Pennsylvanians and the federal government or is he with illegal immigrants who commit crimes against our citizens?”

Council is expected to vote on the resolution on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, who faces a challenge from Democrat Katie McGinty, announced his support for White’s bill, and dismissed Mayor Kenney’s description of it as “incredibly dangerous.”

“The only thing ‘incredibly dangerous’ is the fact that Katie McGinty and Mayor Kenney would continue these terrible policies that turn violent criminals loose,” he said. “It’s time to restore common sense to our public safety laws, and this measure in conjunction with my legislation at the federal level will do that. Katie McGinty needs to reverse her position and support both if she is serious about public safety in Pennsylvania communities.”

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CeaseFirePA, a group that works to end gun violence, last week issued its recommended candidates in state legislative elections.

Locally, the organization is recommending state Sen. John Sabatina Jr. (D-5th dist.); state Reps. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.), Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.) and John Taylor (R-177th dist.); and Jared Solomon, a Democrat running unopposed in the 202nd Legislative District.

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Joe Hohenstein, the Democratic challenger to state Rep. John Taylor, is calling for the resignation of Vince Fenerty, executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, following revelations that he sexually harassed an employee.

Hohenstein is also calling on Taylor to denounce Fenerty, a longtime Republican operative.

“The allegations against PPA head Fenerty are serious and disturbing for two reasons. One, if true, the reports of his conduct demonstrate a corrupt and misogynistic culture within a government agency that should be reformed. Two, the settlement money should not have come from the PPA’s government funds,” Hohenstein said.

“I am calling on Mr. Fenerty to resign, and I believe John Taylor should also call on him to step down. My opponent was the head of the Philadelphia GOP during the time period of these allegations.”

Taylor did not respond to a request for comment.

The PPA board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, and Fenerty is expected to be fired.

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Katie McGinty, the Democratic nominee challenging Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, unsurprisingly declared Hillary Clinton the winner of Monday’s presidential debate.

“Hillary Clinton showed that she is ready to be president of the United States, and Donald Trump showed that he is not. I’ve seen more than enough to know that the choice we face in this election could not be more clear, and it’s unacceptable that Pat Toomey continues to disrespect his own constituents and refuse to be honest about where he stands. Pat Toomey will work with Donald Trump to divide our country, favor Wall Street millionaires, and keep working families from getting ahead. I will work with Hillary Clinton to build an economy that works for everyone, strengthens our communities, and gives a voice to Pennsylvania middle-class families.”

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Joe DeFelice, chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party, issued a statement in response to Democratic state Rep. Leslie Acosta’s guilty plea to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“Rep. Acosta might as well follow what her gut is telling her and stay in office despite her conviction. She’ll be in good company, with 15 fellow Philadelphia Democratic officials convicted of corruption in the last three years alone,” he said.

“She follows in the proud footsteps of Chaka Fattah, Vince Fumo and, of course, J.P. Miranda, who had held the seat before his own ghost employee scheme was uncovered. After her, who knows who the Democrats will put up — it probably couldn’t get much worse than what the Democratic machine has produced so far.” ••