Mississippi has become the first state to comprehensively ban sanctuary cities, ensuring that no local governments have the ability to illegally refuse to help federal government enforce immigration laws.
Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2710 into law Monday morning, which will prohibit towns, counties, or universities from “purposefully defying federal immigration laws.”
“Taxpayers expect their state and its political subdivisions to abide by federal immigration laws,” Gov. Bryant said after final passage by the legislature.
“We should make sure no local governments or state entities have the ability to break our laws, creating jurisdictions of amnesty for illegal aliens,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.
WLOX News reports: Sponsored by Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, the bill passed the Senate in a comfortable 32-16 vote. The House vote also passed easily, 76-41.
The new law means a city ordinance in Jackson put in place to prevent racial and ethnic profiling is now null and void. Part of that ordinance stated that police officers couldn’t ask for immigration status.
“It had a beneficial effect on the city of Jackson because other cities go out of their way for law-enforcement agencies to harass immigrants, harass brown people,” noted Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance Director Bill Chandler.
Chandler went on to say he didn’t think there was ever a threat of any city in the state becoming a sanctuary city.
Associated Press report: The Trump administration is continuing its tough talk against sanctuary cities, which shelter people living in the country illegally by refusing to help the federal government enforce immigration laws.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is “urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.”
He says the Justice Department will require compliance with immigration laws in order for the cities to receive grants through the Office of Justice Programs. The Obama administration had a similar policy in place.
President Trump had said during the campaign that he would “defund” sanctuary cities by taking away their federal funding.
Sanctuary cities include New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as many smaller municipalities.