The Minnesota Senate has introduced 394 bills since the opening day of the 2019 regular session, and among them is a DFL-backed bill that would make Minnesota a sanctuary state.
Senate File (SF) 231, co-sponsored by five DFL state senators, would restrict “state and local officials from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement efforts.”
The bill would impose dozens of “prohibited actions” on government agents related to immigration enforcement, including the prohibition of using “public funds, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to question, stop, investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person.”
Additionally, SF 231 would ban state and local officers from responding to “a hold, notification, or transfer request from federal immigration authorities,” or responding to “a request for non-publicly available information about a person or the person’s family members or associates, including information about the person’s date of release from incarceration or hospitalization, schedule, or home, school, or work address.”
Officers would be prevented from making “an arrest based on a civil immigration warrant” and giving “federal immigration authorities access to interview a person in the agent’s custody, or otherwise under the jurisdiction, care, or supervision of the agent.”
The bill also includes a general ban on performing “the functions of an immigration officer,” and supporting or assisting “in civil immigration enforcement operations.” Specifically, government agents would be prevented from, at “the request of federal immigration authorities,” transferring an “individual to federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement,” detaining “an individual” for immigration purposes, and notifying “federal immigration authorities of release information.”
Government agencies and nongovernmental organizations that receive public funding would not be allowed to use any resources to “investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin.”
Government databases would not be available to “any person or entity for the purpose of immigration enforcement.”
SF 231 also calls on all “public schools, hospitals and courthouses” to “establish and publish policies that limit immigration enforcement on their premises to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law.”
Section Two of the bill requires an “agency review of policies” to ensure that “information collected from individuals is limited to that which is necessary to perform agency duties.”
As it stands, the bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate, though Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) expressed support for sanctuary state policies during his campaign.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Patricia Torres Ray” by Patricia Torres Ray.
Photo “Melisa Franzen” by Melisa Franzen.
Background Photo “Minnesota House Chamber” by Chris Gaukel. CC BY-SA 2.0.