“The populations we serve are very vulnerable, have experienced the worst atrocities a human being can experience including genocide and they bring with them historical trauma. Regardless of our experiences, the majority of us start over; we go to work, attend school, volunteer and become part of the collective community. We embrace our second chance in life, we are eager to go to work, we are eager to fit in, we are eager to live a normal life where we don’t have to worry about whether or not we will make it every day. We come from war torn or unsafe countries and America welcomed us and promised to provide opportunities where we can thrive, recover, believe and begin to trust again that we deserve to live. We oppose LD 1833. We oppose the dismantling of families and communities. We oppose the uncertainty that is being forced upon the communities we serve.”
– Testimony of Fatuma Hussein, resident of Auburn and Executive Director of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine
This bill mandated that local police and sheriff departments comply with and support the enforcement of federal immigration law, including President Donald Trump’s targeting, detention, and deportation of individuals. Further, the bill would have charged fees of $500 a day ($182,500 a year) to towns and cities that refused to comply.
We are all safer when there is trust between communities and law enforcement. This bill would have undermined that trust by making immigrant communities fear the police. Like other “anti-sanctuary city” bills around the country, it would make immigrants feel less welcome in Maine and punish towns and cities if they chose not to participate in potentially unconstitutional behavior like unlawful detainment and racial profiling, which so far have been landmarks of the Trump administration's approach to immigration.
DEAD: This bill passed the Senate but was defeated in the House.