State lawmakers consider ban on sanctuary cities in Michigan

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 07:46:32-04

LANSING, Mich (WXYZ) — State lawmakers are considering two bills that would effectively put an end to "sanctuary cities" or "welcoming cities" in Michigan.

The measures would force local governments to cooperate with federal officials investigating a person's immigration status. They would also prohibit local policies that allow or instruct police not to detain someone solely based on immigration status.

“The bills go well beyond what the federal law requires and what the federal law prohibits," said Kimberly Buddin with the Michigan ACLU.

The measures passed one House committee Tuesday, and now move forward to the Ways and Means Committee.

Republican State Rep. Pamela Hornberger sponsored one of the bills.

“We are simply making sure our local law enforcement officials can do their jobs efficiently and operate within the framework of federal law," she said in a statement.

However, some law enforcement officials feel immigration enforcement shouldn't fall under local jurisdiction.

“I believe immigration enforcement is a federal issue," said Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton.

Clayton told 7 Action News the measures could have a negative effect on public safety and damage people's trust in local police.

“If people in our community, undocumented— think that local police are part of enforcement, they’re less likely to report crimes, more likely to be a victim of crimes," he said.

“I certainly don’t think that it’s the bills’ sponsors intention to make discriminatory legislation but that is the effect of this legislation," Buddin said.

“We know that in areas without welcoming policies we see greater amounts of racial profiling," she continued.

7 Action News reached out to Rep. Hornberger for a response to her measure's criticism and have not heard back.

In response to House Bills 4083 and 4090, now called the Local Law Enforcement Protection Acts, State Rep. Mari Manoogian, a democrat from Birmingham, issued the following statement:

The individuals pushing this legislation want us to believe these policies are in our community’s best interest, but that could not be further from the truth. We have seen the negative effects similar policies have had around the country — further eroding the fragile trust between immigrant populations and local law enforcement and disincentivizing community members from coming forward when they witness or are the victims of a crime. That makes us all less safe in the long run. If public safety is truly the goal, we need to work to foster an environment characterized by cooperation and togetherness, not finger-pointing and division.

2019-HIB-4083 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd