The House Military, Veterans, & Homeland Security committee has scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday, March 19th on a recently introduced bill that targets local units of government with any so-called sanctuary city policies or ordinances.
House Bill 4083 (Hornberger) is similar to legislation that the League has previously opposed that was not enacted. This year’s bill prohibits any community in Michigan from adopting or enforcing a “sanctuary city” ordinance or policy. Any city, village or township would be prohibited from enacting or enforcing a law, ordinance, policy or rule that would limit a peace officer or local official from communicating or cooperating with appropriate federal officials on an individual’s immigration status.
The overly broad language allows for a civil action to be brought by any local resident who may interpret a local policy as being in violation of the act and subject the community and specific local elected or appointed officials to damages and attorney costs. Communities would be required to abolish or amend any offending language from their books within 60 days of the effective date of the act, should the bill become law.
Aside from the obvious attack on local control and the increased liability local units of government and their employees would face from this proposal, the language in the bill is not clearly defined and could subject local units of government to costly litigation and impair local law enforcement’s ability to do their job effectively.
Please contact your State Representative and urge them to oppose House Bill 4083.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and [email protected]