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GOP Congressman: Deny 'Sanctuary Cities' the Funds to Test Rape Kits

Rep. Earl "Buddy" Carter at a town hall meeting in Homerville, Ga., on Monday. (Screen shot via The Slot)
Emily Wells
​Emily Wells is an Ear to the Ground blogger at Truthdig. As a journalist, she began as a crime reporter at the Pulitzer-winning daily newspaper, The Press-Enterprise...
Emily Wells

Rape victims are the latest pawns in the Republican vendetta against “sanctuary cities.”

Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, R-Ga., was asked at a town hall meeting Tuesday what he could do to help process Georgia’s backlog of more than 10,000 untested rape kits. He responded, “There are grants available, and we’ll do everything we can to help.” Then he added, laughing, “Unless they’re a sanctuary city.”

The dialogue continued when another attendee questioned Carter:

QUESTIONER: “Can I ask a quick follow up? Were you serious about the sanctuary city remark, or was that just a joke? Like, you wouldn’t provide grants to test rape kits if it was a sanctuary city?”
CARTER: “No, we do not. I voted for a bill that does not allow federal law enforcement grants to go to any sanctuary cities. I was very serious about that.
QUESTIONER: “Do you feel like that serves your constituents?”
CARTER: “Yes, it does. It does serve my constituents, because if you’re a sanctuary city, that means you are refusing to enforce our immigration laws here in the United States, and if you’re doing that, then I don’t want to be sending you any federal grants to go to your city.”

Video from the town hall meeting in in Homerville, Ga., can be seen at The Slot.

Carter did not address how this would help constituents, or what a city’s enforcement of federal immigration law has to do with a backlog of rape kits. Such a policy would not punish government officials for their stance on undocumented immigrants, but instead would punish rape victims who happen to live in sanctuary cities.

Carter’s comments are in line with an ongoing Republican effort to deny federal funds to sanctuary cities for other concerns, such as fighting crime. These threats against sanctuary cities continue despite evidence that harsh immigration policies undermine public safety because, according to NBC, “they redirect resources, undermine criminal cases and destroy relationships with marginalized people, including victims and witnesses.”

This isn’t the first time Carter has made controversial remarks at a town hall meeting. According to The Washington Post, he had this to say during a town hall on Monday:

After three different constituents asked him whether he supported the president’s decision to ban transgender men and women from military service, he went from deferring “to our commander in chief” to saying what he believed.

“I don’t want ’em serving in the military,” Carter said, as dozens of constituents booed and more than a dozen walked out. “I’m sorry.”

Carter has also been in recent headlines for using crude language in criticizing Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and others in the Senate for opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

–Posted by Emily Wells.

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