Minnesota Legislature: One Bill at a Time Toward Arizona-Style Immigration Enforcement
Arizona’s sweeping immigration enforcement law, with its purpose of “enforcement through attrition,” intentionally creates a climate hostile to immigrants in an effort to get them to leave the state. This session, piecemeal legislation threatens to bring “enforcement through attrition” to Minnesota.
English as Minnesota’s Official Language: H.F. 64 and its Senate companion, S.F. 175, seeks to designate English as the official language of the state and as the language for use by state and local governments. It provides an exception for private use of languages other than English. The bill would also give private individuals residing or doing business in Minnesota standing to sue state agencies or state officials for violations of this law. The bill would prohibit driver license issuance to persons unable to read English language or symbols and would require drivers license examinations to be administered in English and without interpreter assistance.
Creating New Crime of Possession of Fraudulent Identity Documents: H.F. 152 and its Senate companion, S.F. 108, create a state crime for the criminal possession or sale of identification documents under Minnesota statute. The bills seek to amend Minnesota’s criminal code by adding section 609.5275, Criminal Possession or Sale of Identification Documents. A hearing on this bill is scheduled for 8:15am on Tuesday, March 8, in room 10 of the State Office Building.
Prohibiting Law Enforcement Noncooperation Ordinances and Policies: H.F. 358 introduced in the House on February 3, 2011, seeks to ban cities and police departments from adopting community policing ordinances or policies designed to build trust with immigrant and refugee crime victims and witnesses. Representatives Bob Barret (R-17B) and Mike Benson (R-30B) co-authored the legislation. No Senate companion bill has been introduced.
Law Enforcement Officers Required to Record Country of Citizenship: H.F. 691, law enforcement officers required to record the country of citizenship and immigration status of felon arrestees, and peace officers required to report suspected immigration violations by felon arrestees, was introduced on February 24, 2011, by Rep. Steve Smith (R-33A). No Senate companion bill has been introduced.
Requiring Governor and Commissioner of Corrections to Send Foreign-Born Inmates Back to Home Country: H.F. 810, introduced March 3, 2011, requires that foreign-born inmates serving felony sentences be returned to their home countries after one-half of their executed sentence has been served if a treaty authorizes such transfers with the inmate’s country of nationality.