Topeka, KS-– The Kansas House of Representatives has introduced legislation at the request of Attorney General Derek Schmidt to prohibit so-called “sanctuary cities” in Kansas.
Schmidt earlier this month said that he would seek legislation after the Unified Government of Kansas City/Wyandotte County adopted a local ordinance to restrict its police department’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and also to authorize issuance of municipal identification cards, including to individuals not lawfully present in the United States. Schmidt said at the time that he was unsure current state law prohibits those local actions but that the Legislature should enact a state statute to prevent a patchwork of local approaches to immigration enforcement from developing around the state. Municipalities that adopt these sorts of local restrictions on cooperating with immigration authorities commonly are called “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
“Citizens throughout our state deserve to know that wherever they may travel in Kansas, law enforcement officials are cooperating with federal and state agencies to fairly enforce applicable law and are not obliged to turn a blind eye to some unlawful conduct merely because of local politics,” Schmidt said. “Particularly in light of the current federal administration’s ongoing failure to secure our nation’s southwest border, this is an important law-and-order issue throughout our state, not merely a matter for local preference.”
The proposed legislation, House Bill 2717, focuses on preventing local political interference with law enforcement cooperation in immigration enforcement and is modeled on a similar law enacted in Indiana in 2011, when it was signed into law in that state by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels. The legislation would:
- Prohibit municipalities from preventing law enforcement agencies from sharing information or cooperating with immigration authorities.
- Prohibit municipalities from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law within their jurisdiction.
- Require law enforcement agencies to notify their officers that they have a duty to cooperate with state and federal agencies and officials in the enforcement of immigration law.
The proposed legislation also addresses the authority of cities or counties to issue their own municipal identification cards by requiring that any municipal identification cards may not be used to satisfy any identification requirement established by state law and must bear the words “Not valid for state ID.” It also would amend existing state law to make fraudulent use of a municipal identification card a crime just as fraudulent use of a state identification card currently is a crime.
A copy of the bill is available at https://bit.ly/3sfolX9.