Republicans introduce bill to ban sanctuary cities in Minnesota

No Democrats have signed on to the bill in either chamber.

SF 4328 is authored by Minnesota Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls. (Photo by A.J. Olmscheid/Minnesota Senate Media Services)

Over two dozen Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature are supporting legislation that would prohibit Minnesota cities from becoming so-called “sanctuary cities.” Known as SF 4328, the proposed law would also increase penalties for human trafficking and fine employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

SF 4328 is authored by Minnesota Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls.

In recent years, states, counties, and cities across the United States have declared themselves “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. In general, this means these local governments refuse to fully assist federal authorities who are conducting immigration investigations. As a result, state and local law enforcement located in these “sanctuaries” are barred from helping federal agencies apprehend illegal aliens.

Primarily, SF 4328 would prohibit Minnesota cities from declaring themselves a “sanctuary” city.

“Sanctuary policies simply make Minnesota a more inviting place for those who are in the United States illegally and do nothing to stop the overwhelming flow of migrants at the border,” said Sen. Rasmusson. “We shouldn’t make Minnesota a more enticing place to violate federal immigration law, either as cities or a state.”

Under Sen. Rasmusson’s bill, a “sanctuary city” is defined as any city that prohibits public safety officials from inquiring about a person’s immigration status, cooperating with federal immigration investigations, and sharing immigration status data with other government entities.

SF 4328 was put together in direct response to Democrats’ attempts to make Minnesota a sanctuary state via the so-called “North Star Act.” Authored by Rep. Sandra Feist, D-New Brighton, and Sen. Omar Fateh, D-Minneapolis, the North Star Act would ban law enforcement in Minnesota from assisting federal agencies in enforcing immigration law.

Last year, Democratic majorities in both the Minnesota House and Senate authorized legislation which allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, receive free college tuition, and access a state-run insurance program. Additionally, St. Paul politicians permanently established the “Office of New Americans” within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

As such, Sen. Rasmusson’s SF 4328 would require every state government agency that provides services to illegal immigrants to annually report on their activities. That report, which would be delivered every year to the Minnesota Legislature, would contain information on what services, goods, credits, and funds were provided to illegal immigrants.

Sen. Rasmusson is proposing the state agency reporting requirements to increase transparency and to better understand “the consequences of a failed federal response to illegal immigration.”

In the Minnesota House of Representatives, the companion bill to SF 4328 is authored by Rep. Isaac Schultz, R-Elmdale Township. No Democrats have signed on to the bill in either chamber.

“We have seen what problems arise when cities — such as New York City and Chicago — adopt ‘sanctuary’ status for illegal immigrants,” Rasmusson said. “If our state adopts sanctuary status, Minnesota taxpayers will be further burdened with the heavy costs associated with illegal immigration.”


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.