Arkansas bill banning ‘sanctuary’ cities fails in committee

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A proposal to ban Arkansas cities from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities failed sooner than a House committee on Monday after the state’s Republican governor said he wished the legal guidelines modified to verify it wouldn’t open the door to racial profiling.

The Senate-backed bill to ban “sanctuary” cities and scale back off their funding failed sooner than the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee on a 9-4 vote, two votes shy of the 11 needed to advance to the whole House for a vote. With lawmakers hoping to wrap up this yr’s session by Wednesday, the sponsor of the measure said it’s lifeless.

The Arkansas Municipal League, which opposed the measure, has said it doesn’t know of any sanctuary cities in the state or any cities shifting in direction of adopting such insurance coverage insurance policies. The Republican proponents of the bill said the measure was needed to verify cities modify to federal regulation.

“This is not a solution looking for a problem,” Republican Sen. Gary Stubblefield, the bill’s sponsor, knowledgeable the panel sooner than the vote. “This is to ward off what is happening all over our country.”

Republicans in plenty of states have enacted bans on sanctuary cities, which have been centered by President Donald Trump. Virginia’s Democratic governor last month vetoed an identical bill, and one different bill is pending sooner than Florida lawmakers.

Under Arkansas’ bill, a metropolis would have been ineligible for discretionary funds administered by the state if the authorized skilled regular found it was a sanctuary metropolis. The bill moreover would have prohibited cities from stopping native regulation enforcement from asking people about their citizenship or immigration standing.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said earlier Monday he was usually supportive of the measure and opposed sanctuary cities. But Hutchinson said he’d requested the bill’s sponsor to amend the measure to require potential set off sooner than regulation enforcement requested about citizenship or immigration standing.

“Without this amendment, there is too much opportunity for racial profiling,” Hutchinson said in an announcement launched by his office.

Advocates in Arkansas said the defeated bill would have created mistrust between the immigrant neighborhood and regulation enforcement.

“Laws like this, because they are broad, they are vague and they are not clear, only exposes us to lawsuits, only exposes us to continued stereotypes of Arkansas being racist and only is going to hurt what really could be an opportunity for Arkansas to achieve a greater potential,” Mireya Reith, founding authorities director of Arkansas United, an immigrant advocacy group, knowledgeable the panel sooner than the vote.

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