LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin says some Republican lawmakers will introduce legislation to keep local governments from enacting policies that would keep police from cooperating with immigration authorities.
Sister station WKYT reports Bevin started his announcement Friday in Lexington by explaining that the proposed bill is not about immigration. Instead, it is about better supporting law enforcement. Bevin also said that the bill would clarify what a sanctuary city is.
The announcement came as President Donald Trump said a nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting people who are in the U.S. illegally will start Sunday.
State Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah, a co-sponsor of the bill, said he does not believe any city in Kentucky is currently a sanctuary by the bill's proposed definition.
"Any law or any ordinance or anything a local entity might do that would limit that cooperation is detrimental to the safety of our people," said Carroll.
The bill has backing from law enforcement, but some people at the meeting said the bill is not about safety.
"It is about immigration. A group of people have been targeted and criminalized. It is all political. it is not about safety," said Arnold Farr with the Poor People's Campaign.
Congressman Hal Rogers released a statement on the proposed bill:
“We’ve witnessed the dangerous impact of sanctuary city policies across the country, where released criminal aliens continued to commit unthinkable assaults on innocent Americans, including children. Undermining federal immigration policies puts law enforcement officers and our communities at greater risk. These laws are designed to keep our cities safe, and I applaud Governor Bevin for choosing to protect Kentuckians first and support federal law enforcement as they pursue justice for criminal aliens.”