SB317 (2019) Detail

Prohibiting sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.










AN ACT prohibiting sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.


SPONSORS: Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Rep. Hinch, Hills. 21; Rep. Notter, Hills. 21; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock. 5; Rep. Edwards, Rock. 4


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill prohibits sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT prohibiting sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Statement of Intent; Findings.  It is the determination and finding of the general court that a robust enforcement of the federal immigration laws of this country, assisted to the fullest reasonable degree possible by the law enforcement and other officials of the state of New Hampshire and all governmental entities within this state, as well as all organizations receiving funds from this state or those entities, is necessary to protect our country from foreign and domestic terrorism, diminished prosperity caused by artificially low wages paid to those present in the United States in violation of our immigration laws, a disregard of the rule of law, the presence of foreign criminals, foreign persons participating in our elections, and strained local and state finances caused by a disproportionate participation of foreign welfare recipients, as well as the need to provide other governmental services to persons who presence in the United States is not permitted under immigration laws.  Consequently, the general court has determined that the foregoing laws, interpreted as broadly as permitted, are necessary to address each and every one of these and similar consequences.

2  New Subdivision; Prohibition on Sanctuary Jurisdictions.  Amend RSA 124 by inserting after section 19 the following new subdivision:

Prohibition on Sanctuary Jurisdictions

124:20  Definitions.  In this subdivision:  

I.  "Immigration laws" means the laws of this state or federal law relating to aliens, immigrants, or immigration, including the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. Section 1101 et seq., as amended.

II.  "Information” means any data, reports, materials, statements, or evidence regarding the immigration status under federal law, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.

III.  "Jurisdiction" means the state of New Hampshire, any division, political subdivision, or governmental entity of or within the state, such as an agency, commission, court, municipality, town, district, or county, public university, public college, or any grouping of the same or any private entity receiving any grants or operational funding from the same.

124:21  Sanctuary Jurisdictions Prohibited.  No jurisdiction shall adopt, implement, or follow a law, regulation, by-law, ordinance, rule, process, policy, or procedure, stating or causing that such sanctuary jurisdiction or any of its officials, agents, representatives, or employees will not:

I.  Declare informally or formally any jurisdiction to be a sanctuary from the enforcement or effect of immigration laws.

II.  Enforce immigration laws.

III.  Send information to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, or any successor or successors agency thereof.

IV.  Maintain such information.

V.  Exchange such information with other federal, state or local government entity.

VI.  Hold any person for violations of immigration laws as mandated under federal law.

VII.  Remand any person sought for violations of federal immigrations laws into the custody of federal officials as mandated under federal law.

VIII.  Honor any federal detainer issued for purposes of enforcement of immigration laws.

124:22  Sanctuary Jurisdiction Laws Prohibited.  No jurisdiction shall adopt any law, regulation, by-law, ordinance, rule, process, policy, or procedure declaring it to be a jurisdiction in which sanctuary from the application or enforcement of immigration laws exists or that would otherwise violate that language or intent of 8 U.S.C. Section 1373, as amended.  All such existing laws, regulations, by-laws, ordinances, rules, process, policies, and procedures are hereby null and void.

124:23  Funding of Sanctuary Jurisdictions Prohibited.  Notwithstanding any other provision of state or local laws, neither the state nor any other jurisdiction shall distribute a state or federal aid or funds to a jurisdiction that violates RSA 124:21 or RSA 124:22.

124:24  Complaint; Equitable Relief.  

I.  Any person residing in a jurisdiction or any person employed by a jurisdiction may file a complaint against that jurisdiction with the attorney general if the person asserts facts supporting an allegation that the jurisdiction has violated any part of RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23.  The complainant shall include a sworn statement with the complaint stating that to the best of the person’s knowledge, all of the facts asserted in the complaint are true and correct.

II.  If the attorney general determines that a complaint filed under paragraph I against a jurisdiction is valid, the attorney general may file a petition for a writ of mandamus, or action in the nature of mandamus, or apply for other appropriate equitable relief in the superior court for Merrimack county or the superior court in a county in which the principal office of the jurisdiction is located to compel the entity or department that is suspected of such violation to comply with RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23.

III.  An appeal of a suit brought under paragraph II shall be expedited by the supreme court and the supreme court shall render its final order or judgment with the least possible delay.

IV.  A person filing a complaint under paragraph I shall be absolutely immune from any claims of defamation based on the language of such complaint and shall be otherwise civilly liable based on such complaint only for knowingly having included a materially false statement in such complaint.

124:25  Civil Penalty.

I.  A jurisdiction that is found by a court of law as having intentionally violated any portion of any part of RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23 is subject to a civil penalty in an amount:

(a)  Not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for the first violation.

(b)  Not less than $5,000 and not more than $7,500 for the second violation.

(c)  Not less than $10,000 and not more than $15,000 for each subsequent violation.

II.  Each day of a continuing violation of any part of RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23 constitutes a separate violation for the civil penalty under this section.

III.  A civil penalty collected under this section shall be deposited to the educational trust fund, established in RSA 198:39.

IV.  Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental immunity of a county and municipality to suit is waived and abolished to the extent of liability created by this section.

124:26  Removal from Office.

I.  Violation of RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23 by a person holding an elective or appointive office shall be cause for removal from office.

II.  The attorney general shall file a petition in the superior court for Merrimack county or the superior court in a county in which the principal office of the jurisdiction employing the official is located if presented with evidence, including evidence of a statement by the public officer, establishing probable grounds that the public officer engaged in conduct described in paragraph I.  The court in which the petition is filed shall give precedence to proceedings relating to the petition.

III.  If the person against whom a petition is filed under paragraph II is found by a preponderance of the evidence to have violated any part of RSA 124:21 through RSA 124:23 as charged, the court shall enter judgment removing the person from office.

3  Severability.  It is the intent of the general court that every provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word in this act, and every application of the provisions in this act to each person or entity, are severable from each other.  If any application of any provision in this act to any person, group of persons, or circumstances is found by a court to be invalid for any reason, the remaining applications of that provision to all other persons and circumstances shall be severed and shall not be affected.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.









AN ACT prohibiting sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023












Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other


The Judicial Branch was originally contacted on January 5, 2019 for a fiscal note worksheet, which they have not provided as of January 28, 2019.



This bill prohibits sanctuary jurisdictions in New Hampshire.  The Department of Justice indicates this bill would require jurisdictions to comply with federal immigration laws.  The Department would receive complaints regarding alleged violations, investigate and determine if the violation occurred.  If a jurisdiction is found to have intentionally violated the statute, there would be a civil penalty.  If a person holding an elected or appointed office violates the statute, he or she would be removed from office after a filing by the Department of Justice in superior court.  The Department assumes the bill would increase the number of investigations handled by the Department, but has no information on the number of investigations or the potential cost.



Department of Justice and Judicial Branch



SB317 at GenCourtMobile
SB317 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 4, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 14, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB317 Revision: 5306 Date: Jan. 29, 2019, 5:24 p.m.


Sept. 25, 2019: Inexpedient to Legislate, Senate Rule 3-23, Adjournment 09/25/2019; SJ 1

March 14, 2019: Pending Motion Committee Amendment # 2019-0794s; 03/14/2019; SJ 8

March 14, 2019: Sen. Hennessey Moved Laid on Table, RC 14Y-10N, MA; 03/14/2019; SJ 8

March 14, 2019: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0794s, 03/14/2019; SC 13

March 4, 2019: ==RECONVENE== Hearing: 03/04/2019, Room 103, SH, 02:00 pm; SC 12

Feb. 7, 2019: ==RECESSED== Hearing: 02/07/2019, Room 100, SH, 10:40 am; SC 9

Jan. 3, 2019: Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 4