Gov. Matt Bevin

Gov. Matt Bevin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Gov. Matt Bevin announced here in Lexington on Friday that he's supporting a bill that would prevent any Kentucky city from becoming a sanctuary city.

Bevin said the bill is about making sure communities cannot pass laws that would prevent police officers from cooperating with federal immigration agencies.

"This does not have anything to do with immigration. It really doesn't," he said. "It makes clear that no local jurisdiction, for political reasons or any other, has the ability to impose a definition of sanctuary that would preclude local law enforcement from coorodination with others in other jurisdictions."

Right now, there are no sanctuary cities in Kentucky. And Bevin said he wants to keep it that way.

"We don't have a problem with it now," he said. "We don't want a problem. So we're going to get out in front of that."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah, said his proposal would impact Louisville, where Louisville Metro Police officers cannot help with immigration arrests unless there is a warrant or danger to the public.

"I think it would change that, and I think it would clarify that the local government has no ability to restrict that at all," Carroll said.

The announcement comes before expected raids this weekend by ICE agents. And critics say the bill tramples on the rights of local communities.

"To protect our citizens, to protect those who have been targeted, who have not done any harm to anyone else," said Arnold Farr with the Poor People's Campaign. "I think they should be protected. I think horrible things are happening to our immigrants, and it's uncalled for."

But the bill's supporters said this is about making sure police have to the tools they need to protect the public.

"We owe them the absolute best that we can provide in terms of tools in the toolkit," Bevin said.

The sponsors say they expect to file the bill for next years session, but they also say Bevin could add it to a special session expected later this month.

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Reporter

I cover a range of stories for WDRB, but really enjoy tracking what's going on at our State Capitol. I grew up on military bases all over the world, but am a Kentuckian at heart. I'm an EKU alum, and have lived in Louisville for 30 years.