March 20, 2017-
A legislator from Kalispell has introduced a bill that would ban sanctuary cities in Montana and inflict steep financial punishment for any local governments that violate the law. Rep. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, introduced House Bill 611 on Monday. The term sanctuary cities does not have a strict definition. It generally describes places that are welcoming of refugees and illegal immigrants and do not dedicate financial or other resources to enforcing immigration laws and share information about immigration status with the federal government when requested.
“If cities choose to do that, this puts some sting to that choice,” Skees said Monday. “This is an opt-out bill. Cities can opt out to not adopt these policies.” No city, county or local government in Montana has enacted policies concerning citizenship and immigration. Skees said the bill was preventive and not a response to any specific actions in the state.