Louisiana Rejects Anti-‘Sanctuary’ Legislation

Communications Associate

May 31, 2017

Bill Stalls After Faith Leaders Testify Against It

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Louisiana Senate committee chose not to advance a bill Tuesday that would have prohibited so-called sanctuary cities in the state, after pushback from center-right advocates and amid concerns it would lead to racial discrimination.

House Bill 676 would have allowed the state attorney general to withhold funding to municipalities and law enforcement agencies with policies that limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Louisiana House passed the bill May 17.

Senators who opposed the bill contended that it was discriminatory. Others who spoke out against the bill include faith and law enforcement leaders. Dr. Page Brooks, Lead Pastor of Canal Street Church: A Mosaic Community, based in New Orleans, testified against the bill when it was in the House.

“Christ taught us time and again not to fear the stranger, but to welcome him or her, for whatever we do the immigrant, we do to him,” Dr. Susan Weishar, Migration Specialist/Fellow at Loyola University’s Jesuit Social Research Institute, said during a state House hearing earlier this month. “Sadly, newcomers have often been perceived as the ‘dangerous other’ throughout our history. However, Christians are called to see the face of God in every human being.”

“Unlike Texas, Louisiana is choosing a better path to community safety,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Let local law enforcement officials do their jobs and build trust. Louisiana is right to reject measures that constrict law enforcement and target immigrants.”