Kentucky is enroute to becoming the next Arizona, ground zero for a battle over immigrant rights.
Passed by the Kentucky Senate, SB-6 would expand the state's authority to enforce federal immigration law. The bill is modeled on a controversial Arizona law, the enforcement of which was blocked last summer by a federal judge. It includes provisions that authorize police to attempt to determine a person's immigration status if s/he is stopped for another reason, such as a traffic violation, and is suspected of being undocumented.
The Senate bill would also ban communities from adopting ordinances to limit immigration enforcement, create the offense of trespassing for those in the state without legal status and make it a crime for anyone to assist such a person in coming to live in the state.
The KY House reconvenes on February 1 and the House Local Government Committee will take up the measure. It's time to tell Kentucky that Arizona is not the standard and we must not tolerate such acts of political violence against our communities.
After signing the petition, call the toll free legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for House Speaker Greg Stumbo and your representatives.
SB-6, passed by the Senate endangers the interests of all Kentucky residents. It will divert precious law enforcement resources into targeting and locking away both non-criminal immigrants and many US citizens who are just doing their jobs by caring for the sick, teaching in our schools, driving our students to school or simply helping their neighbor.
In addition, SB 6 will do nothing to address the broken immigration system. SB 6 will cost our state treasury $40 million in lost tax revenue as outlined in the LRC’s Fiscal Note which does not include costs that will be unfairly incurred as the bill would be mandated on local governments who will then have to use already limited funds for enforcement and training. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.
Passage of SB 6 will lead to increased expenses in legal fees in a futile attempt to uphold its constitutionality. SB 6 will mean millions of dollars in lost foreign investment, a loss of groundbreaking researchers at our universities, fewer foreign students at our universities and tens of thousands of fewer foreign visitors each year. Such investors, students and visitors will not feel welcome in Kentucky as they could be targeted because “they do not speak English.”
Additionally, crime victims and victims of domestic violence would be petrified to report crimes in fears that they would be racially profiled or singled out because of their limited English Proficiency. SB 6 would lead to less safe and vibrant communities.
Furthermore, Kentucky is also likely to lose millions in revenues and face an onslaught of boycotts and lawsuits, much like Arizona, becoming the ridicule of the nation.
Instead of following in the self-destructive path of states like Arizona, Kentucky should look to welcoming immigrant labor and find ways to bring people together. That is the American way.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter before our great state of Kentucky.