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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Gov. Gianforte Signs 'Sanctuary City' Ban

Montana Capitol bulding in Helena, MT.
Shaylee Rager
/
UM Legislative News Service
Montana Capitol bulding in Helena, MT.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed a bill into law that bans "sanctuary cities" in the state.

The new law prohibits state agencies and local governments from adopting policies that block local law enforcement from detaining undocumented immigrants sought by federal authorities. There are no sanctuary cities in Montana right now. 

Supporters say the law is needed to protect public safety. Opponents say it perpetuates racism and racial profiling. 

In a news release, Gianforte said "HB 200 ensures drug dealers, human traffickers, and other criminals who are in our country unlawfully will have no refuge in our state."

The contentious bill passed through the Legislature on party line votes. 

Other state and local governments that have either banned or adopted sanctuary status have faced legal challenges.

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing shaylee.ragar@mso.umt.edu. 
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