This newspaper has said on numerous occasions that any city that titles itself a so-called sanctuary city is in defiance of federal law and should have all funding cut off until it is in compliance with those laws.
We are still of that opinion, because we believe cities that harbor those who break the law by entering our country illegally are rewarding their illegal behavior with free government benefits on the taxpayers’ dime. Worse yet, there is documentation that illegal immigrants who have been deported for crimes often slip back into our country and take refuge in these sanctuary cities.
President Donald Trump did the right thing by trying to cut off federal funding to cities in California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, New York and several other states that allow these sanctuary cities to exist. His efforts have been tied up in federal courts since he tried to implement them. Hopefully, when this issue eventually makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, justices will rule that these cities are indeed in defiance of federal law and therefore should receive no funding.
It cannot be said enough that these sanctuary cities are not only illegal, but they put a huge financial burden on law-abiding citizens. They are insulting to immigrants who have gone through the proper channels and waited years, in many cases, to become legal citizens in the United States.
Thankfully, we live in a state where sanctuary cities don’t exist. Louisville was one of roughly two dozen cities investigated by the federal government during a crackdown on sanctuary cities. But the Louisville ordinance in question does not make it a sanctuary city, officials with the Department of Justice found.
We don’t want any city in Kentucky, whether it be Louisville or Lexington, to become a sanctuary city because, once again, it would be in defiance of federal law and goes against the values of this state. One of the many great things about our state is we don’t want to be San Fransisco, Portland, Ore., or New York City – we want to be diverse, but we also want to adhere to the rule of law.
That is why we support legislation expected to be introduced in Kentucky’s next legislative session that would prevent state universities and local governments from enacting sanctuary policies. The legislation will be sponsored by state Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, and state Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville. The bill aims to prohibit local governments from enacting policies that would prevent law enforcement agencies from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The bill defines a sanctuary policy as an order, ordinance or resolution that limits or prohibits local government officials from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies in immigration matters. It also describes sanctuary policies as those that grant illegal immigrants the right to live legally in the jurisdictions. Any law that is in violation of U.S. sanctuary city law is also applied in the state law.
Local governments would also have to comply with requests from ICE to maintain custody of an immigrant or to transfer an immigrant into ICE custody. Municipalities would also not be allowed to prevent law enforcement officers from asking about a person’s citizenship or immigration status. It would also prevent municipalities from requiring ICE to obtain a warrant or demonstrate more than probable cause before they comply with detainers or other legal and valid requests.
This is common-sense legislation that needs to be passed. Gov. Matt Bevin has expressed his support for the legislation and we are glad he has. Kentucky needs this legislation to ensure that all cities in Kentucky follow the rule of law and cooperate with federal authorities when it comes to illegal immigrants.
This legislation has our full support and we urge the legislature to vote it into law when then it convenes early next year.