LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Matt Bevin says he wants lawmakers to pass a bill prohibiting sanctuary cities in Kentucky.
This comes just days before raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are expected to be carried out nationwide.
Sanctuary cities have policies that limit how much local law enforcement officials can comply with federal immigration. Kentucky does not have sanctuary cities, but Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton announced last month that city police will not help federal immigration officials unless there’s a court order, a policy the city of Lexington has had in place for 20 years.
The proposed legislation prohibits local governments from enacting sanctuary policies that prevent local police from cooperating with I.C.E.
Former Paducah Assistant Police Chief, Senator Danny Carroll is one of the bill’s sponsors.
“Any law or any ordinance or anything that any local entity might do that would limit that cooperation in any way is detrimental to the safety of our people.” says Sen. Carroll.
Bevin says the legislation is not intended as a statement on immigration policy, but rather a statement of support for officers who have sworn to protect their communities.
“That the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s law enforcement officers who have taken a sworn oath to protect and serve will in fact be available to communicate with and will share any and all info available with those other groups intrastate, in state, out of state, etc.”
I.C.E. raids are expected to take place in several major cities starting Sunday.
At the press conference, Bevin was joined by lawmakers, as well as Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders, Lexington Fraternal Order of Police President Jason Rothermund, and Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Director John Holiday.
Mayor Linda Gorton put out a statement after the press conference.
She says, “Although we are continuing to review this proposed legislation, it does not appear to conflict with any of our long-standing polices. Lexington is not a sanctuary city.”