The House Judiciary Committee voted down three bills, and passed three bills Tuesday.
House Bill 611, which would prohibit sanctuary cities in Montana, was one of the bills that passed and will now move to the full House for debate. A sanctuary city is a city that allows undocumented citizens to avoid deportation. The bill passed on party lines.
Democratic Rep. Virginia Court voted against the bill and motioned, unsuccessfully, to table it during debate.
"I think that this is not a message of hope, it’s a very negative message that we’re sending," Court said.
Republican Rep. Barry Usher supports the bill.
"This has to do with cities, counties creating sanctuary cities where they’re not going to comply with federal immigration laws," Usher said.
The committee is voting on bills to get ahead of the the second transmittal deadline of the Legislature, which is when bills need to pass one chamber in order to move on.
Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.