Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, presented the 'Blue Lives Matter' bill to the Senate. Credit: Mississippi Today

So-called sanctuary cities, which have been rising in popularity in some areas since Donald Trump’s presidential win, have no place in Mississippi, the Senate said Thursday.

Senate Bill 2710, also known as the “sanctuary cities” bill, passed Senate by a 32-16 vote

Thursday afternoon. The bill would prohibit Mississippi counties, cities, colleges, state agencies and others from having or enabling policies designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement.

The bill also requires local cooperation with federal immigration control, and automatically deems any sanctuary policy adopted in the state as invalid.

Tindell has said that he is unaware of any cities or campuses declaring themselves as sanctuaries.

The Senate passed the bill after a few minutes of discussion on the floor. Some senators did not agree with prohibiting sanctuary cities, or any bills that have tried to oust them in the past.

“I remain opposed to the idea behind it as I told you last year,” Sen. Deborah Dawkins, D-Pass Christian, said, referring to a similar bill introduced by Sen. Sean Tindell, R-Gulfport, last year that died. “We’ve had an immigration problem in this country since about 1600.”

Tindell said, unlike last year, he believes the House of Representatives is comfortable with the language in this bill.

He also told Dawkins the bill passed overwhelmingly in committee, although there were several votes against it.

“We should make sure no local governments or state entities have the ability to break our laws, creating jurisdictions of amnesty for illegal aliens,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement released following the vote. “No government entity – whether at city hall or a university campus – is above following federal immigration laws.”

The bill’s language states that it shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. The bill goes to the House for consideration.

Kate Royals

Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.