At Tuesday evening’s board of directors meeting, Ward 5 City Director Lance Hines pulled a resolution from the agenda that would have codified Little Rock’s intent to comply with the federal government’s requests when enforcing immigration laws.
After the resolution was originally introduced at a board meeting in early February, Hines responded to questions from Max Brantley about his intentions for the resolution, writing in an email that he believes “if we don’t act… the legislature will require us to do more than what federal law requires as a minimum to be in compliance. ie-take away our ability to have the id program we started earlier this year.”
Hines told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Rachel Herzog that he pulled the resolution because it wouldn’t get enough votes from other city directors to pass. He also said that due to the introduction of Senate Bill 411 in the state Legislature, sponsored by Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch), “there may not be a need” for the resolution. Stubblefield’s bill would prohibit “sanctuary city” policies for the state.
As Brantley wrote in his Feb. 11 blog post, Little Rock police have not actively enforced immigration laws, leaving it up to federal agencies, and in last Thursday’s community forum, LRPD Assistant Chief and police chief finalist Hayward Finks said it’s not the department’s policy to check citizenship or detain people for deportation.