Interprofessional Center

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Professor Virgil Wiebe testifies regarding HF 358

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HF 358 is headed to the MN House Judiciary Committee. The bill is an effort by the majority in the House Public Safety Committee to ban cities from having policies that separate local police duties from federal, civil immigration enforcement.

Multiple concerns arise from this type of bill, particularly the need for diverse cities to practice community policing models to build trust with all communities and residents to foster trust and crime reporting with police and other government officials such as school counselors and city or county building and health personnel, among others. Furthermore, the bill creates a private right of action that would allow a private citizen to file a lawsuit against any individual or government entity if, in the perception of the person bringing the lawsuit, the government or its employee is not complying with reporting or enforcement of laws or regulations.

To read about the the importance of Community Policing, click here.

HF 358 passed the House Public Safety Committee today, 4/28, on a strictly party-line vote. Very lengthy testimony, overwhelmingly in opposition to the bill, was heard yesterday and forced the hearing to go an hour longer than scheduled and be held over for vote today.

Only two witnesses testified along with the author of the bill:

1. Hennepin Co. Sheriff Rich Stanek, and

2. An individual from Minnesotans United for Immigration Reduction.

In opposition to the bill were the following witnesses:

1. Chief Tom Smith and Senior Commander Bill Martinez- Saint Paul Police Department,
2. Bruce Nestor- Immigration Law Attorney,
3. Michele Garnett McKenzie- Director of Advocacy, Advocates for Human Rights,
4. ThaoMee Xiong- Public Policy Specialist, Minnesota Coalition of Battered Women,
5. Virgil Wiebe- Professor, St. Thomas School of Law,
6. Lyudmyla Petrenko and Vera Burstein, Sabes Jewish Community Center,
7. Anne Finn- League of MN Cities,
8. Caroline Jackson- ACLU,
9. Deputy Chief Allen- Minneapolis Police Department,
10. Katherine Crothers and a junior high student, No Child Left Behind,
11. Written opposition was also submitted by Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay.

Here is a link to the audio from Wednesday’s testimony…HF 358 starts at approximately 28:45:

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/ls87/pub042711.asx

To read the bill HF 358, click here.

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