Immigrant Rights Legislation

SB 162 – Withhold local money if uncooperative with immigration policy (2017-2018)

To amend sections 9.63 and 5747.502 of the Revised Code to withhold local government fund payments to municipal corporations that have enacted an ordinance, policy, directive, rule, or resolution that hinders or prevents municipal employees from cooperating with state or federal immigration services or from complying with executive orders pertaining to immigration.

Link to Bill:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-162
Status:
Pending
Summary:

This bill would cut or eliminate entirely state and federal (Department of Homeland Security) funding from municipalities that are “sanctuary cities,” or that don’t comply with the President’s executive orders pertaining to immigration.

The current law in Ohio is that municipalities that are not in compliance with the USA Patriot Act, immigration or terrorism investigations, or executive orders pertaining to homeland security cannot receive DHS funds. This bill would extend this list to include immigration-related executive orders.

The bill also gives more discretion to the director of public safety as to when a municipality is not compliant with the aforementioned laws.

Primary Sponsors:
Committee:
Finance (S)
LSC Legislation Status:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-status?id=GA132-SB-162
Jurisdiction/Legislation Level:
State
Our take on this bill:

The ACLU of Ohio opposes this bill because bullying municipalities through the threat of withholding funds is fundamentally wrong. This bill would force municipalities to compel local law enforcement to assist federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by way of threatening to withhold vital funding.

Withholding funds to enforce immigration orders adds nothing to safety and only increases tensions between local police officers and the communities they are supposed to protect and serve.

As the director of public safety would be able to determine noncompliance without any metric, their discretion would be wide and easily abused. The current law has a series of means through which a municipality could be determined to be noncompliant; eliminating this list leaves the fate of municipalities in the hands of one person with no means of checking that person.

Bill Status:

Introduced in the Senate on 6/13/15

Referred to the Senate Finance Committee on 6/15/17