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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Controversial immigration bill given top priority by Kentucky Senate Republicans

    Joe Sonka, Louisville Courier Journal Published 5:06 p.m. ET Jan. 7, 2020 | Updated 5:34 p.m. ET Jan. 7, 2020

    Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, right, speaks with Kentucky Senate member Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, during the opening day of the Kentucky legislature in Frankfort on Tuesday. (Photo: Timothy D. Easley, AP)

    FRANKFORT — Senate Republicans identified a controversial bill targeting illegal immigration as the chamber's top legislative priority on Tuesday, the first day of the Kentucky General Assembly's 2020 session.

    Senate Bill 1, from Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, bans any "sanctuary policy" by police or public agencies in Kentucky. It also requires almost all public employees in the state to use "their best efforts" to support enforcement of federal immigration law.

    While immigration advocates have called the bill "draconian," Republican Senate President Robert Stivers told reporters it received top priority because it addresses the threat of "illegal aliens" engaging in drug trafficking and draining public resources.

    Stivers specifically cited The Courier Journal's investigation of El Mencho, the kingpin of CJNG, a deadly Mexican drug cartel, as a reason for the legislation receiving top billing.

    "There are individuals coming into our country that are using our resources, our educational systems and our health care systems that are not contributing in any way," Stivers said. "So how do we deprive our citizens and individuals who have immigrated here legally ... for people who have not followed the law and on many occasions are illegal to the extent that they are breaking the law and helping in the trafficking of drugs?”

    SB 1 is virtually identical to the bill Carroll prefiled Dec. 9, with one key change: It adds Kentucky’s public universities and colleges to the list of entities prohibited from adopting or enforcing sanctuary policies, which would bar them from granting “illegal immigrants” the right to a lawful presence or status.

    Asked whether SB 1 would allow those without legal immigration status to still enroll in public colleges and universities, Stivers answered: "They should not be.”

    Stivers added that such an enrollment ban should extend to "Dreamers" — a moniker for those brought into the country illegally as minors, many of whom have been able to stay and work legally since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was adopted in 2012.

    “That is also part of it, because individuals who came here illegally — one way or another — they should not be able to attain the status of a person who is here legally, either by birth or by the appropriate naturalization process," Stivers said.

    Immigration advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky have warned the bill would apply to groups that get at least 25% of their funds from the government, thus applying to employees of domestic violence and sexual assault centers.

    "This bill is about using public employees to assist in the detention and deportation of Kentuckians, and specifically Kentucky kids," said Kate Miller, advocacy director for the ACLU of Kentucky.

    Carroll's bill would also prevent city and county governments from enacting "sanctuary policies," though the Trump administration has indicated that no cities in Kentucky have policies that violate federal law.

    Asked whether Louisville would be in compliance if this bill was passed, Stivers said, “You would have to see what they’ve done and what they’ve passed, because they’ve been very careful about saying things to where they would not lose federal funding. If they are not going to cooperate, then they would not be in compliance with this proposed statutory change.”

    Senate Republicans also named four other bills that would receive top priority — several of which are sure to ruffle the Democratic minority.

    SB 2 would require all voters to present photographic identification in order to vote; SB 3 is a proposed constitutional amendment to change the year of gubernatorial elections to even-numbered years starting in 2028; and SB 5 would require local governments to approve tax increases proposed by special districts.

    SB 4 would take away a governor's power to appoint his or her own secretary for the Transportation Cabinet, instead creating a new body that gives the governor candidates to choose from and grants the Senate confirmation power over that choice.

    In December, former Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover sent an email to his colleagues blasting the Transportation Cabinet legislation as an "asinine" bid to strip the Democratic governor's powers.

    Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, criticized the Senate Republicans' five prioritized bills as “a political statement right out of the box."

    “They’re clearly making 2020 an election year, right off the bat," McGarvey said. "When we have a budget session, we need to make sure that we’re getting the budget priorities solved for the commonwealth.”

    Crystal Staley, the spokeswoman for Gov. Andy Beshear, said in an emailed statement that "we have received and are analyzing the contents of (SB 1). As attorney general, Gov. Beshear assured there were no sanctuary cities in Kentucky, so that the state continued to receive federal dollars."

    House Republican leadership, on the other hand, did not name any priority legislation on the first day of the session, with House Speaker David Osborne saying that's "more of a Senate tradition."

    Osborne said the top priority of the session is the two-year budget that must be passed, "which will require a great deal of focus."

    "We continue to be a state with many needs, and one with limited resources," Osborne said. "It requires very thoughtful consideration and one that we take very seriously."

    The speaker indicated that a bill to create new tax revenue by legalizing sports betting has "considerable interest" in his caucus and would get "due consideration," though legislation to legalize casinos has less support.

    Beshear is expected to present his proposed budget to the General Assembly on Jan. 28.

    Osborne said the focus of his Republican caucus throughout the session would be pushing initiatives that are "pro jobs, pro worker and pro family."

    He also indicated that the health of House Majority Floor Leader John "Bam" Carney is greatly improved — he is "awake and responsive" in a Louisville hospital.

    Carney was hospitalized two weeks ago with pancreatitis and was in critical condition, but was able to file for reelection Tuesday.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    E-verify jobs, housing, school, college, welfare, food stamps, heathcare, school, bank accounts, disability, social security, drivers licenses, voting, IRS tax refunds. All of it.

    No more IRS tax refunds to an illegal alien parent or their offspring.

    Fire government employees awarding them our benefits.

    Get them out of our housing and out of our country.

    END birthright citizenship!


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