Republican lawmakers request hearings on sanctuary banning bills amid escalating border crisis

Republican lawmakers request hearings on sanctuary banning bills amid escalating border crisis

LANSING, Mich. — State Sens. Michele Hoitenga and Jonathan Lindsey on Thursday sent a letter to the Democratic chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee “to respectfully request a hearing on Senate Bills 724 and 725, which would ban so-called sanctuary cities and counties in the state of Michigan.”

“As you know, the past few weeks have presented several instances of violence and lawlessness in communities across the country that have labeled themselves as “sanctuaries” for those looking to evade federal immigration law enforcement. The elected officials that govern these cities, whether they be Denver, Chicago, or New York, are coming to the conclusion that refusing to enforce our immigration laws is having a disastrous effect on their communities, both from a safety and financial perspective,” the letter states.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Michigan has five self-proclaimed sanctuary communities, including the city of Lansing along with Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent and Wayne counties.

“By refusing to enforce immigration laws, these rogue communities are compromising our national security and putting the safety of Michigan residents and the financial stability of our entire state at risk,” said Hoitenga, R-Manton, whose bill would ban self-proclaimed sanctuary counties in Michigan. “The Michigan Legislature has a duty to act in a bipartisan manner to keep our communities safe from the preventable violence and rampant drug trafficking streaming across Joe Biden’s open borders.”

Lindsey, who sponsored SB 724 to ban sanctuary cities in Michigan, said communities in other states are being pushed to a breaking point and that we need to take decisive action now to prevent this from happening in Michigan.

“Cities that declared themselves sanctuary cities are quickly walking back that status as the reality of this crisis sets in,” said Lindsey, R-Allen. “The self-imposed status that sanctuary cities have given themselves tells residents their government cares more about protecting criminals than the people they took an oath to. It is a complete dereliction of duty that erodes the safety of these communities day by day as the border crisis rages on.

“The fact is people are gravely concerned about the crisis at the southern border and they want something done about it. With Joe Biden’s utter failure to act, we are offering solutions on the state level, and taking up these bills is a strong start.”

Senate Republicans in February introduced their Strong Borders, Safe Communities plan to increase penalties for deadly fentanyl trafficking, ban sanctuary communities in Michigan, and call on the president and Congress to immediately and fully resolve the ongoing border crisis.

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