HELENA — The Montana House is endorsing a bill that backers say will make sure Montana cities never adopt policies contrary to federal immigration law.
The measure was endorsed Monday in a 59-41 initial vote. It faces another vote in the chamber before going to the Senate.
Supporters argued they believe illegal immigration is bringing crime and other problems to the state. Republican Rep. David Howard of Park City says his bill would make sure cities "honor the rule of law" and coordinate their law enforcement activities with federal immigration officials.
But opponents led by Democrats argued there is no illegal immigration problem in Montana and no so-called sanctuary cities. They argued Montana cities should be trusted to establish their own priorities.