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Immigration bill clears Senate committee

Danny Carroll
Posted at 7:33 AM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 07:33:36-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Republican-backed immigration bill has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and is expected to easily pass the full Senate.

Senate Bill 1 would keep public entities, like city and county governments, from adopting sanctuary policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration officials. This means most public entities would be required to work with federal immigration agents. Law enforcement agencies would have to “use their best efforts, considering available resources,” to help federal law enforcement.

There are exemptions for school districts and employees of agencies like domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, public advocacy offices and public health departments.

Supporters say the bill would ensure public safety and not lead to immigration crackdowns by local law enforcement. However, opponents are worried it could result in racial profiling and would make law-abiding immigrants scared to work with local police.

The bill would also allow law enforcement agencies to adopt policies limiting when officers could ask about the nationality and immigration status of a crime victim or witness.

Kentucky does not have sanctuary cities.

Senate Bill 1 would still need House approval before it reaches to Gov. Andy Beshear's desk.