Kansas AG introduces bill to outlaw “sanctuary cities”

FILE - Kansas Statehouse (AP)
FILE - Kansas Statehouse (AP)(AP)
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 4:35 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A bill to officially outlaw sanctuary cities in the Sunflower State has been introduced in the Kansas Legislature.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the Kansas House of Representatives introduced legislation at his request to outlaw “sanctuary cities” in the Sunflower State.

Earlier in February, Schmidt said he would seek legislation after Wyandotte Co. adopted a local ordinance to restrict the ability of legal authorities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities as well as to authorize the issuance of municipal identification cards to undocumented immigrants.

At that time, the AG said he was unsure state law prohibited the local actions but that the Legislature should pass a state statute to prevent local approaches to immigration enforcement from developing around Kansas.

Schmidt said municipalities that adopt these restrictions on cooperating with immigration authorities are commonly called “sanctuary jurisdictions.”

“Citizens throughout our state deserve to know that wherever they may travel in Kansas, law enforcement officials are cooperating with federal and state agencies to fairly enforce applicable law and are not obliged to turn a blind eye to some unlawful conduct merely because of local politics,” Schmidt said. “Particularly in light of the current federal administration’s ongoing failure to secure our nation’s southwest border, this is an important law-and-order issue throughout our state, not merely a matter for local preference.”

The AG said House Bill 2717 focuses on preventing local political interference with law enforcement cooperation with immigration enforcement and was modeled on similar legislation passed in Indiana in 2011. He said the legislation would:

  • Prohibit municipalities from preventing law enforcement agencies from sharing information or cooperating with immigration authorities
  • Prohibit municipalities from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law within their jurisdiction
  • Require law enforcement agencies to notify officers they have a duty to cooperate with state and federal agencies and officials in the enforcement of immigration law

According to Schmidt, the proposed legislation would also address the authority of cities or counties to issue their own identification cards by requiring those cards not to be used to satisfy identification requirements established by state law and must bear the words “Not valid for state ID.”

Lastly, Schmidt said the bill would amend existing state law to ensure fraudulent use of a municipal identification card is a crime just as fraudulent use of a state identification card currently is a crime.

To read a copy of the bill, click HERE.

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