Progressive politicians in all corners of the United States have attempted to enact so-called sanctuary laws that would shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
One Republican governor is pushing back, however, by signing a bill to outlaw such sanctuary cities.
“To compel compliance”
According to Breitbart, Montana is preparing to enact a law that state officials hope will have the effect of banning jurisdictions from protecting individuals against the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.
Cities across the nation have pursued sanctuary policies through a variety of methods, including the refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials and failure to enforce existing laws.
The Montana bill, which was signed into law this week, forces local law enforcement agencies to enact such laws and includes a penalty for those that do not.
If a state agency or local government refuses to comply with federal immigration laws, Montana’s new measure allows the state attorney general to bring a civil action “to compel compliance,” as Breitbart notes.
Included in the law is a maximum penalty of $10,000 for every five days that an entity does not comply with its mandate. The state Senate passed HB200 last month and Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte enacted it on Wednesday, the Daily Caller reported.
“No sanctuary in Montana”
“We are a nation of laws, and immigration laws will be enforced in Montana,” Gianforte said upon signing the bill. “Criminal, illegal aliens who pose public safety threats to our communities have no sanctuary in Montana.”
State leaders attempted to pass similar legislation in 2019, but the measure was ultimately vetoed by Gianforte’s Democratic predecessor, former Gov. Steve Bullock.
The latest move in Montana comes as the Biden administration is dealing with a worsening crisis along the nation’s southern border.
President Joe Biden is facing widespread opposition for repealing and loosening border policies enacted by former President Donald Trump, which critics say has exacerbated the situation. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently visited a migrant detention facility and affirmed that more than 100,000 immigrants — including thousands of unaccompanied minors — crossed the border into America in February alone.
For its part, however, the White House has been reticent to even acknowledge the problem, instead opting to push for a plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.