Multiple Republican-backed bills in the Minnesota House and Senate would impede efforts by cities such as Minneapolis to institute radical sanctuary city policies.
Minneapolis is currently in the process of rolling out a “municipal identification card” program for illegal immigrants residing in the city. The IDs would be available to “all residents ages 14 and up” regardless of “immigration status, homelessness, or gender identity.”
The IDs would serve as a “recognized ID for interacting with the Minneapolis Police Department,” The Minnesota Sun previously reported. The ID program was approved by the Minneapolis City Council, and city officials are expected to begin issuing IDs within the next two years.
A Minneapolis city ordinance bars local police officers from inquiring “about immigration status” when conducting their police work.
“Our policy preventing MPD [Minneapolis Police Department] officers from asking about immigration status is not an advisory guideline that can be selectively ignored,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in response to criticism of the ordinance. Frey also directed the MPD to install placards in its squad cars containing “language detailing a person’s rights as far as they relate to ICE.”
Minnesota House Republicans have now introduced legislation targeting these proposals. Companion bills in the House and Senate, House File (HF) 510 and Senate File (SF) 833, would prohibit cities from distributing municipal IDs.
“A municipality must not provide a municipal ID to an undocumented immigrant,” the bills state. “A municipal ID issued to an undocumented immigrant before the effective date of this section is not valid for any purpose.”
The House version of the bill was introduced by Rep. Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook), and the Senate version is backed by both Sens. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids) and Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca).
Grossell has introduced two other bills in the House targeting sanctuary policies, one of which, HF 117, would cut off state funding for sanctuary cities in Minnesota. HF 626 would require law enforcement officers to “record the country of citizenship and immigration status of felon arrestees.”
“A peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that a felon arrestee is an undocumented noncitizen must notify, within 24 hours of arrest, the United States immigration officer in charge of the district in which the person is detained of the person’s arrest,” the bill states. “The peace officer must provide the federal immigration officer with the noncitizen’s name, address, location of detention, offenses leading to arrest, and nationality, if known.”
“We have laws for a reason and all units of government, from the federal government down to the smallest cities, should follow the law,” Grossell said of his bills. “It is appalling and quite unbelievable to have some of the largest cities flagrantly violating the laws of the United States. If people want immigration laws changed, there is a process for that. We cannot have entire cities openly defying laws.”
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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 “Paul Utke” by Paul Utke.
Photo “Andrew Matthews” by Andrew Matthews.