STAND. COM. REP. NO. 601
RE: S.B. No. 557
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 557 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit state and county law enforcement agencies from complying with federal immigration detainers or honoring requests for non-public information unless specifically required to do so by a warrant signed by a judge or by provisions of federal, state, or local law.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Women's Coalition, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, Hawaii J-20+, Midwives Alliance of Hawaii, Church of the Crossroads, Filipina Advocacy Network, and forty individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu County Republican Party, and four individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committees find that the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized that unlawful presence in the United States is not, by itself, a criminal offense. Your Committees further find that a person's undocumented status can result from a variety of possible causes and that, given the geography of the islands, the undocumented status of most undocumented immigrants in Hawaii results from overstaying the length of their visa, which is not a crime, in comparison to crossing a United States border without being processed which is a crime. Your Committees also find that policies prioritizing deportation actions may cause undocumented immigrants to be fearful that contact with the police and other law enforcement personnel will lead to immigration-based actions, and may make them more reluctant to report crimes or come forth as witnesses as a result.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 557 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair