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Sen. Dahm files bill aimed at preventing sanctuary cities

Sen. Nathan Dahm said he has again filed legislation to better protect Oklahomans from criminals who’ve entered the U.S. illegally.  Senate Bill 572 would prohibit any municipality in Oklahoma from adopting a sanctuary policy making their community a safe haven for illegal immigrants.  Under Dahm’s bill, any city or town that enacts such a policy would be ineligible for state funding.

Due to the session being shortened during the pandemic last year, Dahm’s previous bill did not make it all the way through the Legislature. The Broken Arrow Republican said recent executive actions from the White House underscore the need for Oklahoma to address the issue.

“Just last week, with the stroke of a pen, Joe Biden instructed ICE to release law breaking foreigners throughout the country, so I’ve once again introduced legislation to prohibit any city or county in the state of Oklahoma from becoming a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants,” Dahm said. “My legislation is aimed at stopping sanctuary policies that would provide a haven to these criminals.”

SB 572 would prohibit any municipality or subdivision from enacting or adopting any sanctuary policy.  This includes policies prohibiting municipality officers from verifying or reporting the immigration status of any alien within the municipality to federal agencies or officials; granting illegal aliens the right to a lawful status within the municipality that is a violation of federal law; preventing law enforcement officers from asking any individual his or her citizenship or immigration status; or knowingly providing special benefits, privileges or support to illegal aliens.

Dahm’s bill would allow legislators to request a legal opinion from the attorney general’s office upon receiving a complaint that a municipality is violating federal immigration laws.  If funding is revoked for a city under this bill, the attorney general would have to certify the municipality is following the law to restore funding.

“Last session my bill made it part way through the legislature before the pandemic stalled out session,” Dahm said.  “Now we can see how it is even more necessary to get this bill passed to ensure the rule of law is followed in our state and protect the citizens of Oklahoma even as Joe Biden seeks to put the interests of law-breaking foreigners over us.”