As the Biden administration buckles under the weight of a raging border crisis, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed legislation that bans sanctuary cities in the state.
“We are a nation of laws, and immigration laws will be enforced in Montana,” Gianforte said in a statement.
Since the state doesn’t host any sanctuary cities, or cities that intentionally ignore federal authority on illegal immigration and protect illegal immigrants, the move is largely a symbolic one, especially after former Former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, vetoed similar legislation in 2019.
Sanctuary cities often lead to unjust protections of violent criminals and help them avoid deportation, putting American citizens at risk. In Chicago, an already convicted felon, who was supposed to be deported until the city’s lenient bail policies and refusal to cooperate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement allowed to him to walk free, sexually assaulted a toddler in a McDonalds bathroom in February.
“ICE said in a news release Thursday [Christopher] Puente was placed into Chicago police custody in June of 2019 after he was arrested for theft,” according to a Chicago ABC affiliate. “According to ICE, Chicago police were expected to hold Puente until he could be taken into their custody, as Puente was expected to be deported.”
Montana follows in the footsteps of Florida, who similarly banned sanctuary cities in the state in 2019.
“This is about the rule of law,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a signing ceremony for the legislation at the time. “It’s also about public safety.”