House immigration bill aims at cities

The Minnesota House has passed legislation aimed at ensuring all cities enforce immigration laws.

Under the bill, local government officials can no longer restrict employees from sharing immigration data with federal authorities. It also preempts local ordinances that prohibit cooperation in immigration enforcement. Supporters say the bill would help enforce immigration laws. The legislation passed with House with a vote of 77-52.

Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, says the bill could increase racial profiling.

"I think this bill is all about how a person looks. This is one of those unintended consequences of a bill like this," Moran said.

The bill also allows the public to sue any city that does not comply with the new enforcement requirements.

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder. said the bill will ensure law enforcement personnel are enforcing all laws.

"There are a lot of police officers out there who don't want to be mandated but they don't want to be restricted either. Just give them the tools they need to enforce the laws," Cornish said.

Critics say the bill would harm community policing efforts because immigrants would be less inclined to speak to police officers about criminal activity.

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