March 27, 2017
On Tuesday, HB 697 (Metz) passed its second committee of reference, with one committee still remaining before it can be heard by the full House. The bill requires local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration policy without accompanying funding. As a result, resources for preventing crime and protecting the public will be redirected to immigration enforcement. FCCB staff expressed opposition to the bill during the committee hearing. A
from Executive Director Michael Sheedy outlines FCCB's concerns with the measure, noting:
- The bishops of the United States have long advocated for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, which should eliminate the need for this bill.
- State and local agencies will be economically impacted. Tax revenues will decrease and costs will increase.
- Local enforcement of federal immigration laws does not prevent crime but undermines public safety efforts by eroding community trust in local law enforcement.
- This bill circumvents the subsidiarity of state and local leaders who are closest to and most affected by the issues and concerns of the community.
The senate companion, SB 786 (Bean), has yet to be heard in committee.