News from State and Local Operations (NL2305)
States Enact Anti-Sanctuary Legislation
As many state legislative sessions wrap up for the year, FAIR can report that our work with local immigration reform activists and state legislators resulted in passage of anti-sanctuary laws in several states. State and local efforts to discourage illegal aliens from settling in their jurisdictions is a positive trend, and more states are likely to consider similar measures as Biden administration immigration policies continue to impose unfunded mandates on them.
Enactment of anti-sanctuary legislation was a year-long effort. FAIR worked with West Virginia activists and with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s staff, to draft anti-sanctuary bill language that not only banned sanctuary policies but added teeth to the prohibition. House Bill 2008 was introduced by Delegates Todd Longanacre and Margitta Mazzocchi and the Senate version, SB 550, by Senator Mark Maynard. House leadership made HB 2008 a caucus bill, which meant that it was a priority to pass. It was introduced on January 12, was approved by the full House on February 3 by a vote of 87-6.
The Senate received HB 2008 on February 6 where it languished in the Judiciary Committee for a month. Activist groups were told by these legislators that in order for Senate leadership to move the anti-sanctuary bills 21 senators would need to sign onto SB 550 to show support. FAIR issued calls to action from our members to rally support. The efforts paid off and the bill gained momentum with 15 senators cosponsoring the bill, resulting in the bill being brought to the floor for a vote. On March 10, the Senate voted 31-1 in favor of the bill. The next day, the last day of the legislative session, the House voted to concur with the Senate amendments, and the bill was sent to Governor Jim Justice who signed it on March 29.
Idaho became the second state this legislative session to enact an anti-sanctuary bill into law, and this effort came down to the wire. SB 1030 was first introduced in the Senate on January 27. FAIR worked with Idaho sheriffs to garner support for this legislation. As a result, it passed the Senate by a vote of 28-7 on February 22.
The bill was received in the House but sat in committee for a month. FAIR’s members and the sheriffs worked to apply pressure on members of that chamber to schedule a hearing. On March 17, the House State Affairs Committee introduced its own anti-sanctuary bill, which was passed by the full House on March 21. The House States Affairs Committee also passed SB 1030 on March 22 and the Senate bill was placed on the House calendar on March 23.
With the session scheduled to adjourn on March 24, passing the bills came down to the wire. Luckily for our efforts, the legislative session was extended for a week allowing time to reconcile the two versions of anti-sanctuary legislation. The final version was signed into law by Governor Brad Little on April 4.
An anti-sanctuary bill, HB 1155, was introduced by Rep. Matt Heilman when the legislature convened on January 3. Working with Rep. Heilman to build support for the bill, FAIR provided testimony in favor of HB 1155. The bill passed favorably out of committee and then passed the full House on January 16 by a vote of 80-11.
The bill was then referred to the State Senate where it languished in the Local Government Committee for more than a month despite pressure from FAIR members and the bill’s sponsor. It was finally set for a hearing on March 30 where it passed favorably. The Senate voted 40-4 in favor of the bill on March 31 and was signed into law by Governor Doug Burgum.