News Story

Bill would ban sanctuary cities in Michigan

Government officials in knowing violation of law could face fines up to $7,500

A bill banning sanctuary cities in Michigan was introduced by Rep. Andrew Fink, R-Hillsdale, and several other Republicans on June 22.

House Bill 6276 would prohibit local governments from enforcing policies that restrict officials or police “from communicating or cooperating with appropriate federal officials concerning the immigration status of individuals.”

According to a press release from Fink, “Sanctuary cities are municipal jurisdictions that prohibit police or city employees from questioning people about their immigration status and refuse requests by national immigration authorities to detain people beyond their release date if they were jailed for breaking local law.”

Wayne, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Ingham counties currently have sanctuary policies in place. The city of Lansing will not honor a detainer from the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement without a criminal warrant.

“When cities adopt these policies it weakens the integrity of our naturalization process, undermines our law enforcement, and disrupts the solvency of our social safety net,” Fink said in the press release. “As a border state, Michigan has a responsibility to enforce our national immigration policy.”

Under the bill, residents who have evidence that their local government has violated the ban can file a complaint with the state attorney general or bring the case to a circuit court.

If the court finds the local government has violated the ban, the municipality would be required to amend or repeal the law, ordinance, policy, or rule. It would also have to award actual damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees to the challenging parties.

If an elected or appointed official "knowingly and willfully" violated the act that would be created by this bill, that individual would be subject to a fine between $2,500 and $7,500.

Fink did not respond to requests for comment from Michigan Capitol Confidential.

The legislation was referred to the House Local Government Committee on June 22. In the month since, no further action has been taken.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.