Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and some Kentucky Republicans are getting behind a proposal to ban sanctuary cities.
The legislation in question will be sponsored by State Senator Danny Carroll and State Representative John Blanton. The bill’s goal is to prohibit local governments from passing policies that prevent law enforcement agencies from working together with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The bill defines a “sanctuary policies” as orders, ordinances, resolutions or policies that limit or prohibit local government officials from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies when dealing with immigration issues. It also describes these sanctuary policies as those which provide illegal aliens the ability to live legally in jurisdictions. Any law that violates U.S. sanctuary city law also applies to state law.
Local government would have to follow through with requests from ICE to maintain custody of an immigrant or transfer an immigrant into ICE custody. Municipalities would also not be allowed to bar law enforcement officers from asking about a persons’ citizenship or immigration status.
This push for banning sanctuary cities comes after Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton claimed that the city “only assists ICE when there are arrest warrants issued from a judge, or there is a clear danger to public safety” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Lexington political leadership claims that the city is not a sanctuary city. They say that the current procedures have stayed in place for more than two decades. To allay further criticism, they also assert that federal agencies have a strong presence in Lexington, and generally have sufficient resources to carry out their operations.
Susan Straub, the spokeswoman for Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton proclaimed that “Of course if they request assistance because of special circumstances our local police provide it, but generally they have the resources they need.”
If passed, this bill would keep Mayor Gorton or other city mayors from crafting their own immigration policies.
Governor Bevin contends that local politicians have proposed policies which would discourage cooperation between local and federal authorities. Bevin, however, conceded that Kentucky doesn’t have a problem enforcing the current laws at the federal level.
If passed into law, Kentucky would join 10 other states in passing “sanctuary city” bans if the current proposal receives his signature.
Kentucky has taken a rightward shift lately, especially on issues such as gun rights.
This potential move to ban sanctuary cities would only cement Kentucky’s more conservative drift in public policy.
With the federal government at a deadlock now, states will have to take more proactive measures in ensuring that they are safe from the negative effects of mass migration. Kentucky will likely join this growing reaction against mass migration.
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