TOPEKA, Kan. — A bill has been introduced in the Kansas House of Representatives to prohibit “sanctuary cities” in the state of Kansas.

House Bill 2717 was introduced at the request of Attorney General Derek Schmidt in the Legislature on Feb. 22 and has since been referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs for further discussion.

Schmidt indicated the request was done in response to the local ordinance adopted by the Unified Government of Kansas City and Wyandotte County which was voted on Feb. 11.

“Citizens throughout our state deserve to know that wherever they may travel in Kansas, law enforcement officials are cooperating with federal and state agencies to fairly enforce applicable law and are not obliged to turn a blind eye to some unlawful conduct merely because of local politics,” Schmidt said. “This is an important law-and-order issue throughout our state, not merely a matter for local preference.”

Dubbed the “Safe and Welcoming” ordinance, the Unified Government of Kansas City and Wyandotte County commissioners voted to restrict its police department’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It would also offer municipal ID cards to undocumented immigrants.

The ordinance had six votes in favor and four against it, and one woman who opposed the ordinance went so far as to call it “treasonous” the day it was passed.

In response to the “Safe and Welcoming” ordinance, HB 2717 reverses the ordinance that Wyandotte County and Unified Government adopted, and applies the prohibition statewide. The legislation, according to Schmidt, would have the following effects:

  • Prohibit city and county governments from preventing law enforcement agencies from sharing information or cooperating with immigration authorities.
  • Prohibit city and county governments from limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law within their jurisdiction.
  • Require law enforcement agencies to notify their officers that they have a duty to cooperate with state and federal agencies and officials in the enforcement of immigration law.

The bill would also not allow municipal ID cards to be used to satisfy any ID requirement established by state law, and must have the words “Not valid for state ID” on the card. The proposal would also amend state law to make fraudulent use of a municipal ID card a crime.