The Michigan House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Pamela Hornberger prohibiting local governments from enacting or enforcing sanctuary policies.
Under Hornberger’s plan, the Local Law Enforcement Protection Act, local governments would no longer be able to put laws or ordinances in place that prohibit local officials, employees and law enforcement from communicating with federal officials regarding a person’s immigration status.
The bill applies to cities, villages and townships in the state of Michigan. State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain has authored a similar bill applying to counties, a measure also approved by the committee today.
“We are simply making sure our local law enforcement officials can do their jobs efficiently and operate within the framework of federal law,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “The fundamental obligation of first responders is to protect our communities. In some instances, communication with federal officials helps law enforcement personnel ensure residents are safe.”
Hornberger’s bill requires local governments to rescind any existing sanctuary policy while also outlawing new ones from being enacted. Penalties will be levied against a locality for failing to comply.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, Michigan had approximately 140,000 unauthorized immigrants as of 2014. In Michigan, three cities – Ann Arbor, Detroit and Ypsilanti – have passed laws restricting local police involvement or reporting in immigration matters.
“Local laws contradicting properly enacted federal laws conflict with the constitutional notion of federal laws being supreme,” Hornberger said. “Police officers should not be forced to completely ignore the immigration status of people in their normal law enforcement routines.”
House Bill 4083 now advances to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.
Photo Information: State Rep. Pamela Hornberger testifies before the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee in support of her plan Tuesday to allow local law enforcement to follow federal laws.