Minnesota set to become latest “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants

Yesterday, legislative Democrats in Minnesota held a press conference (viewable here) to formally announce the initiative to make Minnesota a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. Democrats are marketing the bill as “The North Star Act.”

Inexplicably, the thrust of the bill appears to be to protect illegal immigrants from former President Donald Trump, who is currently a private citizen, residing in Florida. KARE-11 reports,

“We know that citizens and noncitizen residents live side by side, and often within the same household. We should not waste resources chasing them down at the demand of Donald Trump,” Sen. Omar Fateh, a Minneapolis Democrat, told reporters.

Republicans in the legislature have raised concerns about the budget implications of the move. KSTP reports,

“Think about our counties, our schools, those institutions. Our health care systems. I mean this is a huge burden on our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks.

To illustrate Sen. Johnson’s point, Minnesota has seen its share of migrants from the ongoing surge at both the southern and northern borders. The current open borders policy enforced by the Federal government of accommodating migrants has led to a surge in school enrollments from abroad. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports,

Schools across Minnesota are enrolling hundreds of new students who have arrived with a recent wave of Latin American migrants, prompting a midyear scramble by district leaders to make sure they can offer the language and support services the young newcomers need.

Since the language in the legislation focuses on limiting cooperation between state and local officials on one hand and Federal law enforcement on the other, I’ve argued that the biggest impact of sanctuary status will be felt in public safety. Federal authorities are not looking to pick up random migrants for deportation, but focus on those who have committed violent crimes, either in the U.S. or in their home countries or both.

Proponents say that the legislation will allow for some exceptions. Again, from KARE-11,

DFL Rep. Sandra Feist of New Brighton, the lead author of the House version of the bill, said local units of government would still be allowed to share information in support of a criminal case.  

However, a careful reading of the legislation as originally written does not allow for such sharing. KARE-11 notes that no new language has been made available by Democrats.

A rally at the state capitol in support of the bill is scheduled for midday on Monday.