Bill in Alabama Senate would make ‘sanctuary city’ policies Class C felonies
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate’s Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill by State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) that would explicitly make it a Class C felony under state law for local government officials to intentionally not fully comply with federal immigration law and officials.
Under existing Alabama law, the State itself is already prohibited from adopting policies or practices that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The current statute currently includes civil penalties for relevant violations.
SB 108 would make it a crime for any public official or agency of the state (specifically including any of its municipalities or counties) to intentionally adopt a policy or practice that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws, or that restricts its officers in the enforcement of state law.
Orr’s bill would make it law that, “It is the policy of this state to discharge illegal immigration by complying with all federal immigration laws and assisting and fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”
Screenshot from a portion of SB 108:
The fiscal note for the legislation states, “Senate Bill 108 as introduced could increase the administrative obligations of the counties and municipalities of the state by requiring them to fully comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Additionally, this bill could increase receipts to the State General Fund from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of the State General Fund, district attorneys, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, community corrections programs, and the Department of Corrections by an undetermined amount dependent upon the number of persons charged with and convicted of the offenses provided by the bill and the penalties imposed.”
During Wednesday’s committee meeting, State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) carried the bill for Orr, who was in his district for the funeral of State Rep. Terri Collins’ (R-Decatur) husband. Livingston advised that Orr intends to bring an amendment to SB 108 on the Senate floor that would change the criminal penalty under the legislation to a misdemeanor rather than a Class C felony.
The committee voted 7-3 to give SB 108 a favorable report. Both Democrats on the committee, State Sens. Vivian Davis-Figures (D-Mobile) and Malika Sanders-Fortier (D-Selma), voted against advancing the bill.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn