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Bill Would Bar 'Sanctuary Cities' In Kentucky

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Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for the passage of legislation to ensure that local law enforcement in Kentucky can effectively cooperate with federal agencies in combatting crime. He said some "sanctuary city" policies currently hinder that cooperation.

Bevin joined bill co-sponsors Representative John Blanton and Senator Danny Carroll to announce the legislation Friday in Lexington.

The proposed legislation:

  • Clarifies state law regarding “sanctuary” policies by providing a precise definition of what exactly a “sanctuary” policy is.
  • Prohibits “sanctuary” policies in Kentucky and encourages federal-state-local law enforcement collaboration.
  • Grants the Commonwealth the authority to enforce these provisions.

The pre-filed bill prohibits local governments from enacting “sanctuary” policies that prevent local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has said city police will not help federal immigration officials unless there's a court order but on Friday her office released the following statement:
“Although we are continuing to review this proposed legislation, it does not appear to conflict with any of our long-standing policies. Lexington is not a sanctuary city.


Lexington is one of the safest cities of its size in the country because of our law enforcement partnerships. We have achieved that level of public safety by allowing our police to focus on local crime.”