Pavlov co-sponsors bill to prohibit sanctuary cities

LANSING, Mich. —Sen. Phil Pavlov co-sponsored a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit local units of government from enacting or enforcing “sanctuary city” laws and prohibit any state funding or other resources from going to sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary cities prevent local employees from notifying federal authorities of illegal aliens living in their communities.

“Local communities cannot be allowed to disobey the law to protect criminals,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Unfortunately that is what sanctuary cities do, and as the recent tragic death in California shows, laws enabling sanctuary cities are horrible public policy and can destroy lives.”

Sanctuary cities recently came to national attention after a San Francisco woman was killed on July 1, allegedly by an illegal alien who had been deported five times and who later confessed to the crime. Senate Bill 445 was introduced partly in response to that tragedy, to help prevent a similar occurrence in Michigan.

When Pavlov was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, he chaired the Michigan Task Force on Border Security and Immigration Reform, which met throughout 2007.

The task force’s final report, issued in June 2008, recommended a series of reforms, including sanctuary city prohibitions. Pavlov and others introduced legislation banning sanctuary cities, but the bills stalled in the Democrat-controlled House.

While Pavlov and his Senate colleagues are working to eliminate the threat of sanctuary cities in Michigan, he supports efforts underway to welcome skilled legal immigrants to Michigan.

“This nation was built by immigrants,” Pavlov said. “We must welcome everyone who is willing to come to the U.S., obey the law, and work hard to succeed. There is nothing stopping anyone who plays by the rules.”