Louisiana ‘sanctuary’ cities under fire in the Legislature for protecting undocumented immigrants
Louisiana could ban so-called “sanctuary cities” under a bill — which advanced through its first hurdle of the Legislature on Thursday — that takes aim at New Orleans and Lafayette.
A sanctuary city is a label for cities that have policies or local laws in place that limit local law enforcement’s cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Typically, these jurisdictions have a policy in place that says they will not respond to requests from ICE to hold individuals in jail beyond the time of their legal release while ICE determines their legal status. In Louisiana, New Orleans and Lafayette are considered sanctuary cities by this definition.
House Bill 151, by state Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, would prohibit local governments and state agencies from adopting sanctuary policies and penalizes them by taking away their ability to borrow money for major infrastructure projects — a process that goes through the state bond commission. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee without opposition and now goes to the full House for consideration.
Hodges, who testified on her bill Thursday, was backed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has become one of the nation’s most well-known crusaders against illegal immigration.