Bobby Jindal: Congress must criminalize sanctuary cities

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to hold mayors and city officials liable for crimes committed by illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities across the United States. The presidential candidate argues that the GOP needs to do more than defund sanctuary cities, as legislation passed by House Republicans would accomplish.

Jindal's proposal has two main components, which include that Congress should criminalize sanctuary city policies and give victims and families the standing to file a civil suit against local, state and federal officials for failing to enforce immigration law or for failing to bring criminal charges against the public officials that enact such policies.

"Defunding is a good idea, but the Left will simply argue that withholding federal funds will hurt the most disadvantaged citizens," Jindal said in a statement. "My plan will hit these lawless city leaders where it hurts by holding them directly accountable for crimes. If on their watch, an illegal immigrant breaks the law, we will count sanctuary city leaders as accessories and force them to pay for these crimes. Sanctuary city leaders are flouting the laws of the United States and that is unacceptable."

Jindal has failed to crack the top ten list of GOP presidential candidates in recent national polling, and likely hopes his focus on immigration boosts his support among GOP primary voters. Donald Trump's rise in recent polling began after his controversial remarks about immigration grabbed prospective voters' attention. While Trump's specific policy proposals seem largely limited to building a wall along the southern border paid for by Mexico, Jindal is looking to gain attention by offering more detail about his approach.