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Thread: Montana - Sanctuary cities bill heard before panel

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Montana - Sanctuary cities bill heard before panel

    Phil Drake , 4:58 p.m. MT March 27, 2017

    HELENA — The sponsor of a bill that would prohibit sanctuary cities in Montana said Monday his proposal does not provide a safe harbor for noncitizens who break the law and was countered by opponents who said it would do more harm than good.

    House Bill 611, sponsored by Rep. Derek Skees, R-Somers, sets up penalties for cities that violate provisions. They would be prevented from receiving their share of oil and natural gas production taxes and coal gross proceeds tax. Also included are any projects recommended from the Montana Department of Commerce for infrastructure projects.

    The House Judiciary Committee did not vote on HB 611 Monday.

    Sanctuary cities allow residence by illegal immigrants to help them avoid deportation. Their policies are prohibited from asking people about their immigration status and they do not cooperate with federal agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to enforce immigration law.

    Skees said sanctuary cities have become places where scofflaws hide from the law.

    “This bill is about illegal immigrants who have broken the law and use sanctuary cities … to hide from the law,” he said.

    SK Rossi of the ACLU of Montana said sanctuary cities are a “misnomer” and added no town in the Treasure State is a sanctuary city.

    She said HB 611 “has no real purpose and will do more harm than good.”

    The bill was also opposed by the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Geralyn Driscoll, DPHHS attorney, said public assistance benefits are not available to illegal residents.

    Dave Andersen of the Montana Association of Christians said he was surprised by the anti-immigration mood that has surfaced in the Legislature this session.

    Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network, said the ban would increase animosity against and already marginalized community.

    The bill was also opposed by the Montana Catholic Conference and others.

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/sto...anel/99710484/
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Montana should pass this bill. You love your beautiful state, and this is an excellent way to protect it. You don't want to be a sanctuary state or allow sanctuary cities to hide illegal aliens in your state. It's not fair to your citizens, it's not good for your environment, and it's a diaster to your state budget.
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