The Kentucky Senate has easily passed immigration related legislation proponents say helps ensure local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are in full cooperation. Opponents contend the measure isn’t needed and could create a chilling effect within immigrant heavy communities.
Senate Bill one, viewed as a priority in the GOP controlled chamber, passed 28 to ten. It prohibits local communities from enacting a sanctuary policy related to immigration. Paducah Senator Danny Carroll said it’s not about instituting local police immigration raids.
“It’s not saying that you have to do any more than what you do today. It’s simply saying that you cannot do less.”
Carroll and other supporters argue it could help address gang activity. But he added the measure doesn’t require civilians to become law enforcement officers.
Opponents like Louisville Senator Gerald Neal said there are no sanctuary cities or threat of one in Kentucky. “What it adds up to is that Louisville metro is in complete compliance, complete compliance as it relates to its requirements on the federal level,” said Neal.
Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill to remove reference to universities across Kentucky. Thomas said enactment of this legislation would have a dampening effect on the bluegrass agriculture economy where immigrants make up a sizeable part of the workforce.
The bill heads to the House.