TOO FRIENDLY? An ID card is one of the ways Little Rock has extended a helping hand to immigrant residents. Such friendliness might help explain newly proposed legislationon "sanctuary cities."

Sen. Gary Stubblefield has introduced expected legislation to prohibit “sanctuary” policies by Arkansas cities.

Violators can be deprived of state funding.

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Among others, the proposal says a city may not adopt a policy that:

Restricts or imposes any conditions upon the municipality’s cooperation or compliance with detainers or other requests from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain custody of an immigrant or to transfer an immigrant to the custody of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement;

Requires United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain a warrant or demonstrate probable cause before complying with detainers or other requests from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain custody of an immigrant or to transfer an immigrant to the custody of United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement; or

F) Prevents law enforcement officers from asking a person about his or her citizenship or immigration status.

The Little Rock City Board is to consider tonight putting on its agenda next week a resolution proposed by City Director Lance Hines which says the city agrees to abide by law regarding immigrants. For example:

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The City will not engage in any program or activity which would require a failure to cooperate to the extent provided by law with any appropriate Federal Agency that needs to obtain information about citizenship or immigration status of a person in the custody of the City.

Little Rock has not declared itself a sanctuary city or announced policies contrary to limits Stubblefield has proposed. But its police don’t routinely seek to determine immigration status, believing that to do so discourages people from reporting and helping to solve crimes. The city’s general friendliness — such as creating an ID program for immigrants — has been noticed. Hines said the resolution was an antidote to potential legislative action against the city. His resolution has drawn criticism from other city directors.