Mississippi Senate approves bill to prohibit local ‘sanctuary’ immigration policies
Mississippi Senate approves bill to prohibit local ‘sanctuary’ immigration policies

The Mississippi Senate [official website] on Tuesday approved a bill [text, PDF] that would prohibit cities in the state from passing so-called “sanctuary” laws limiting how local government groups cooperate with federal immigration agencies. The bill defines a sanctuary policy as one that

(a) limits or prohibits any person from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies or officials to verify or report the immigration status of any person; or (b) grants to any person the right to lawful presence or status within the state, a county or municipality, or the campus of a university, college, community college or junior college in violation of federal law.

The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote [vote record, PDF] of 39 to 11, with 2 absent. The bill now goes to Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant [official website], who is expected to sign [Clarion Ledger report] it into law. Bryant has stated that the law will help Mississippi abide by federal immigration laws. Opponents of the bill state that it will make immigrants less likely to report crimes.

Since the election of US President Donald Trump, some states and cities have proposed legislation to crackdown on sanctuary policies while some cities continue to stand behind their policies [JURIST op-ed]. In February, the Alabama House approved [JURIST report] a bill to block funding for sanctuary universities. In the same month, Texas Senate approved a bill targeting sanctuary cities [JURIST report] by requiring them to comply with federal immigration law. Earlier in February San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order that would cut federal funding [JURIST report] from sanctuary cities. In January, San Francisco’s police chef was sued by an undocumented El Salvadorian over the city’s sanctuary protection laws [JURIST report]. Also in January, the New York Attorney General proposed model language [JURIST report] for immigration laws and policies in sanctuary cities.