Spirited debate took place in a Senate committee today over the sanctuary cities bill that would punish cities who refuse to enforce the federal immigration law. The measure could prevent New Orleans and Lafayette, which are considered sanctuary cities, from borrowing dollars for construction projects.

Metairie Senator Danny Martiny expressed concerns about the Attorney General having sole power over determining who is considered a sanctuary city.

“Let’s make sure we do it in a fashion that’s fair and gives both sides the opportunity rather than the Attorney General’s opinion and a ruling by the bond commission. I don’t think that does it.”

The committee will continue debate on this bill next week. Attorney General Jeff Landry explains why this legislation is needed.

“This has an anti-terrorism aspect to it. When we put these policies in place, we basically create a safe harbor for terrorists.”

Landry says if the bond commission chooses, they can negate his opinion and continue to issue the bonds. But Martiny says this needs to be done the right way if we’re going to restrict sanctuary cities.

“If these cities are crazy enough to say we’re going to be a sanctuary city and we’re willing to take the heat, then they ought to get all the heat we can put on them.”