Alabama state senator files bill criminalizing sanctuary city policies

An Alabama state senator has introduced legislation that would criminalize sanctuary city policies.

The bill, filed by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr, would make not complying with federal immigration officials a Class C felony. Orr said, however, he plans to rewrite the penalties from Class C felony to a Class B misdemeanor, which carries up to six months behind bars as opposed to up to 10 years.

Under the bill, it would be “the policy of this state to discharge illegal immigration by complying with all federal immigration laws and assisting and fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

Orr said he doesn’t want illegal immigration to be the focal point of local law enforcement but wants the state to better cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“That’s not in their purview, but when they have someone that they arrest for a felony or whatever, and they have no documentation and they understand ICE may have a hold on this person, then ICE needs to be contacted,” he said.

There are about 55,000 illegal immigrants in Alabama, according to WSFA.

Immigration activists have quickly come out against the bill.

“It’s not municipalities jobs to do the work of the federal government. ICE and DHS have these billion dollar budgets to operate and do the work they need to do,” Adelante, an advocacy group for immigrant workers in the state, spokesperson Resha Swanson said.

Rosa Toussaint Ortiz, a pastor in the state, added, “Now you, the taxpayer, and me, we’re going to be responsible for these children when they had a father that was doing the construction that he was putting floors, that he was working.”

The bill is currently in the Alabama Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee. Republicans hold control of the state Senate, House, and governorship.

*Story by The Washington Examiner