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Political Ad Fact Check: John Chrin

September 25, 2018
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Political Ad Fact Check: John Chrin
1 of 2
Political Ad Fact Check: John Chrin

The Times-Tribune, a Times-Shamrock newspaper, will fact-check certain political television commercials aired by local congressional candidates. Here is an analysis of a commercial that 8th Congressional District Republican candidate John Chrin aired recently.

Chrin faces U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, for the seat in the Nov. 6 election.

WHOSE AD: John Chrin

TITLE: “Innocent”

LENGTH: 30 seconds

WHAT VIEWERS SEE & HEAR: As a young girl plays hopscotch, the picture of an illegal immigrant who raped a 5-year-old girl in Philadelphia appears with a citation from an Aug. 9 Philadelphia Inquirer story. A narrator says Cartwright supports sanctuary cities, “voted to give illegals amnesty” and calls him “part of the radical left” and “a disgrace.” The ad cites four House roll-call votes.

FACTS: The term “sanctuary cities” means cities that refuse to help federal immigration officials find and deport illegal immigrants. The roll call votes cited in the ad are:

On June 3, 2015, Cartwright voted against an amendment to a bill funding the U.S. Commerce and Justice departments and other agencies for fiscal year 2016. The Republican-sponsored amendment forbid federal, state and local governments from using federal funding to block officials from relaying immigration status to the federal immigration officials. The amendment passed 227-198 Later that day, Cartwright voted against the amended appropriations bill, which passed 242-183.

On July 23, 2015, Cartwright voted against a bill titled the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. The bill would block federal funding for “criminal alien assistance” from state or local governments that restrict cooperation with federal immigration officials or forbid local or state police from gathering information on someone’s citizenship or immigration status. The House passed the bill 241-179, but it never passed the Senate

On July 7, 2016, Cartwright voted against an amendment to the bill appropriating money for financial services and general government for fiscal year 2017. The Republican-sponsored amendment was virtually identical to the June 3 amendment. The House passed it 236 to 182 . Cartwright also voted against the final appropriations bill, which passed 239 to 185.

All the votes happened largely along party lines with most Republicans voting yes and most Democrats no.

On Oct. 2, 2013, Democrats introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act and Cartwright signed on as one of 200 co-sponsors. The bill represented Democrats’ attempt to solve the nation’s illegal immigration problem. It covered a lot of ground, but included provisions that allow people in the U.S. illegally to provisionally stay in the country and eventually apply for legal status after meeting certain requirements and paying fees and penalties for entering illegally. In a House ruled with Republicans controlling the majority, the bill never came to a vote.

ANALYSIS: The commercial never specifies roll-call vote dates, but accurately, if incompletely, reflects Cartwright’s voting record and bill sponsorship.

Republicans view anyone who supports letting local governments refuse cooperation with federal authorities on illegal immigration as supporting sanctuary cities. They argue letting cities refuse cooperation leads to what happened to the little girl in Philadelphia.

Republicans also deride as amnesty any attempt to offer anyone in the country illegally a way to stay. Democrats say deporting all illegal immigrants is unrealistic and it’s better to legalize the law-abiding ones and get them paying taxes.

The commercial ignores Cartwright’s vote on June 29, 2017, for a bill titled Kate’s Law, which dramatically increased punishment for illegal immigrants who repeatedly get deported, return to the U.S. and get caught here illegally again. The bill grew out of the July 2015 murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions and five deportations. The bill passed 257-167 with Cartwright one of only 24 Democrats voting yes.

The same day, Cartwright and only two other Democrats voted for the Republican-sponsored No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, a bill that comprehensively addressed sanctuary cities. Among other things, the bill forbids anyone from stopping local and state police from reporting illegal immigrants to federal immigration authorities. The bill passed the House 228-195. Neither bill has passed the Senate.

CARTWRIGHT CAMPAIGN’S DEFENSE: Spokesman Mike Szustak said Cartwright has always favored “securing our borders and a bipartisan plan for comprehensive immigration reform” and opposes sanctuary cities “and safe havens for criminals and gangs.”

“John Chrin’s monstrous sanctuary cities ad is just a lie,” Szustak said.

Contact the writer:

bkrawczeniuk@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9147


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