HB 4105 & 4334 (2017)

Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Legislative Alert: HB 4105 & HB 4334 ("Sanctuary Policy Prohibition Act")

Summary updated on September 15, 2017


HB 4105:
Primary Sponsor: Pamela Hornberger (32nd District)
Other Sponsors (5): Tim Kelly, Jim Runestad, Gary Glenn, Peter Lucido, Tom Barrett
Bill Status:
- Introduced January 26, 2017 and referred to Committee on Local Government
- Reported out of committee on June 7, 2017 and currently pending in the full House
HB 4334: 
Primary Sponsor: Beau LaFave (108th District)
Bill Status: 
- Introduced March 8, 2017 and referred to Committee on Local Government
- Reported out of committee on June 7, 2017 and currently pending in the full House
Summary of Bills: As introduced, the bill would ban enforcement of any local law or policy that limits local police communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about any person's immigration status.  The bill would require every local government to provide written notice to every police officer about his or her duty to "cooperate with appropriate federal and state officials" about the "enforcement of federal and state immigration laws."  Local governments would have to provide written notice to the legislature that they have provided notice to officers. Police with "probable cause" to believe that someone under arrest is not legally present in the U.S. would be required to report that person to ICE.  Every year, every local government would have to report to the Michigan legislature how many reports they had made to ICE.  Any local government found not to be in compliance with any part of the law would lose their state revenue sharing funds (this provision was removed from the version that passed the House committee).
In the versions that passed out of House committee on June 7, 2017, the bills introduce a "private attorney general" element that would allow any resident of a city or county to sue the city or county in state court if they believe that the city or county was enacting or enforcing a law, policy, or rule that limits or prohibits an officer or employee from communicating or cooperating with appropriate federal officials concerning the immigration status of an individual. HB 4334 applies to counties and HB 4105 applies to other local units of government.

Further information about the bills are available on the Michigan Legislature website here and hereand summaries of the revised bills can be found here

Background and Analysis: The bills are substantially similar to legislation introduced in 2009 (HB 4044) and 2015 (SB 445). They place tremendous burdens on local government to train their officers in immigration law and policy and expose themselves to litigation if they do not properly interpret the immigration law, including what might constitute "probable cause" for believing that a person lacks legal immigration status and/or engage in racial profiling.  
The bills create a definition of a "sanctuary policy" that goes far beyond even the definition advanced by the Trump Administration.  The bills would create powerful incentives for racial profiling and would subject cities and counties to costly litigation from anti-immigrant individuals and groups who do not perceive that their local units of government are engaging in sufficient "communicating and cooperating" with ICE.
Only three communities in Michigan currently have limits in their local codes on communication with ICE, but many communities have local administrative policies put in place by local police leadership that this bill would seek to outlaw and punish.