Local News Politics

Kentucky House hearings continue on a Senate immigration enforcement bill that puts the onus on law enforcement to determine a person’s immigration status.

Hopkinsville Police Chief Guy Howie believes the bill will increase costs because it will require additional training for police officers. He also fears it will put an additional strain on local jails.

“We are already releasing convicted felons early from prison,” he says. “Now we are going to inundate the local system with misdemeanor-type individuals that are committing possibly a victimless crime.”

Marilyn Daniel of a legal clinic in Lexington says there are many varying levels of immigration status, and that will make the law even more difficult to enforce.

“They could be an unauthorized alien on Monday and then they have permanent residence on Tuesday. So, this is a changing situation. In fact, a person could be an alien on Monday and a citizen on Tuesday,” she says.

The Senate bill, approved in January, remains in House committee. On Tuesday, the House voted 90-6 for an immigration bill that puts the onus on employers to determine the immigration status of their employees. That bill awaits Senate action