FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT/WSAZ) -- Rep. Lynn Bechler of Marion, Kentucky, has pre-filed a bill that would ban Kentucky cities from enacting sanctuary city laws.
Cities and counties with sanctuary policies on the books have 90 days to repeal them or face stiff fines with the new sanctuary city ban. (MGN)
The bill would prohibit local governments from enacting policies which would prevent law enforcement agencies from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“We have a responsibility to the public to ensure that our federal laws are being enforced,” said Rep. Bechler (R-Marion).
Under this proposed legislation, any local government that enacts sanctuary cities policies will become ineligible for money administered by state agencies.
Michael Aldridge, executive director of the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says that the bill is a little broad and could lead to potentially lead to innocent people in prison.
“When the bill requires state and local governments to violate residents' 4th and 14th amendment rights by requiring to honor immigration detainers, because immigration detainers are not arrest warrants,” Aldridge said. “Without the safeguards of a judicial warrant, ICE detainers often have resulted in illegal detention of individuals who have not violated any immigration law at all and are not deportable and that includes U.S. citizens and immigrants who are lawfully present in the United States.”
Gov. Matt Bevin and some other Kentucky Republican lawmakers have already thrown support behind a similar bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Kentucky.
“This does not have anything to do with immigration,” Bevin said in July. “It really doesn't and anybody that would try to conflate what we're about to talk about with that is misunderstanding what we're about.”
Rep. Brandon Reed (R-Hodgenville) is the primary co-sponsor of the proposed legislation.