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The Latest: Hawaii immigrant sanctuary bill dies in House

March 12, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on an immigrant sanctuary bill at the Hawaii Legislature (all times local):

11 a.m.

A bill that would make Hawaii the third so-called sanctuary state for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally is dead.

The state Senate passed the bill and sent it to the House. But House Public Safety Committee Chairman Rep. Gregg Takayama said Tuesday he won’t be hearing it in his committee. That effectively kills the bill.

Takayama says most law enforcement occurs at the county level, so it’s more appropriate for the counties to consider establishing sanctuaries not the state.

Oregon was the first to become a sanctuary state in the 1980s. California followed in 2017.

The proposal would have allowed law enforcement to choose whether to participate with federal agencies searching for immigrants who are in the country illegally but who don’t have criminal convictions.

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10:45 a.m.

The state Senate in Hawaii has approved a bill that would make it the third so-called sanctuary state for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the Senate bill has been referred to the House for consideration. The House public safety committee must hear the bill by Thursday for the bill to survive, but the committee still hasn’t scheduled a hearing.

The proposal allows local law enforcement to choose whether to participate with federal agencies searching for tax-paying immigrants who are in the country illegally but who don’t have criminal convictions.

Oregon was the first to become a sanctuary state in the 1980s. California followed in 2017.

The bill doesn’t include immigrants with felony or misdemeanor convictions within the past five years and other exceptions.

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This story has been corrected to say Hawaii would be third so-called sanctuary state after Oregon and California.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com