LANSING, Mich. — State Sens. Aric Nesbitt and Tom Barrett on Wednesday introduced a pair of bills that would prohibit any local government in the state of Michigan from adopting sanctuary city policies that protect individuals who are in the United States illegally.
“Many people, including myself, have a difficult time understanding how local units of government can get away with deliberately hindering the enforcement of federal immigration law” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Local governments with sanctuary policies protect criminal illegal aliens instead of their own residents. This dangerous lawlessness must be stopped.”
Senate Bill 382, sponsored by Nesbitt, would update state law to prohibit a county from establishing any sanctuary policy that prohibits law enforcement officers, local officials or employees from communicating or cooperating with federal officials concerning an individual’s immigration status. SB 383, sponsored by Barrett, would do the same for cities, townships and villages.
The bills also give any local government with one of these policies 60 days to come into compliance. After that time, local governments could face legal action. Local units that do not succeed in litigation would be responsible for legal fees.
“This is not only a public safety issue, but also an issue of allowing federal authorities to do their jobs,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “With this legislation we are sending a clear message to our local governments — follow the law. We have already seen tragedies happen around the nation due to these rogue and irresponsible policies. These bills will hold local governments accountable.”
Nesbitt agreed that local governments should remain focused on the needs and safety of residents, and those who don’t need to be held accountable.
“These bills will increase the state’s ability to assist federal officials and penalize those who purposefully prevent law enforcement from doing their jobs.” Nesbitt said. “Local governments will have to decide if they want to continue placing the well-being of criminals over the safety of Michigan residents.”
Both bills were referred to the Senate Committee on Government Operations for further consideration.