Extremist Rep. Larry Lockman and Gov. LePage are back with another anti-immigrant bill that would force local law enforcement to serve as extensions of ICE deportation forces. UPDATE: The House and Senate accepted the majority port that the bill Ought Not to Pass. THE BILL IS DEAD!
SUM Admin C2A
Despite the failure of a similar bill in the Maine Legislature last summer, Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) is making another attempt to advance an anti-immigrant bill that requires local law enforcement to disclose immigration status of residents, even when sanctuary policies are in place. This time he has enlisted the endorsement of Governor LePage to force the bill through after the deadline for the short session. LD 1833 would direct all government entities in the state to support the enforcement of federal immigration laws, including ICE’s widely criticized and deeply troubling policies. It would make it illegal for a county or town to restrict its cooperation with ICE’s roundup and deportation efforts, diverting already stretched staff and resources to the work of ICE. Why would a community NOT want to fully cooperate with ICE? Many law enforcement officials have found that when residents fear local police, crimes go unreported, and communities become less safe. There can be many reasons an immigrant is undocumented, such as being in the process of seeking asylum, awaiting a court hearing to prove eligibility, overstaying a work or school visa, or simply lacking funds to seek legal help with filing paperwork. That’s why many communities support the adoption sanctuary policies. They help keep communities safe by allowing witnesses and victims of crimes to report them to the police without fear of deportation, and prevent the cruel break-up of families and senseless deportations. Rep. Lockman has a long anti-immigrant record, and recent racist statements about democrats being engaged in a “war on whites” caused Senator Susan Collins to state that she would not endorse his re-election bid. A public hearing was held March 15, with the majority of testimony opposing the bill.
- THE BILL IS DEAD! The House and Senate accepted the majority port that the bill Ought Not to Pass, which killed the bill. See how your legislators voted. Thanks to everyone who called and wrote their legislators to defeat this bill!