No to sanctuary state

LIHUE — The state is taking a step back from setting up Hawaii as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants in the U.S., a decision people on Kauai were calling for as the topic moved through the Legislature.

Tuesday, House representative and chairman of the House Public Safety Committee Greg Takayama said his committee won’t be hearing a bill that would have made Hawaii the third sanctuary state in America.

And the same day, a couple of Kauai representatives sounded off on the issue.

“I received probably 30 calls and tests and emails regarding the bill,” said Rep. Jimmy Tokioka.

He said that’s just Kauai involvement, and that’s a fairly high level of engagement. He said he received more feedback from the rest of the state as well.

“Every single inquiry, request of me, was for me to vote against the bill,” Tokioka said. “A lot of people from my district had major concerns with Hawaii being a sanctuary sate.”

Takayama told the Associated Press Tuesday that because most law enforcement occurs at the county level, he believes it would be more appropriate for the counties and not the state to consider creating sanctuaries.

The bill would have prevented Hawaii law enforcement officers from stopping, questioning or interrogating someone based solely on suspected or actual citizenship status.

Across the United States — in places like Los Angeles and Philadelphia — governments have passed measures akin to the one Hawaii was considering.

Those measures focus law enforcement’s time on local crime rather than illegal immigration.

Under the bill that failed Tuesday, Hawaii law enforcement would have been allowed to help federal immigration officials if presented with a warrant. They also would have assisted if the individual immigration officials were seeking information on had a felony conviction or had been convicted of a misdemeanor within the past five years. They would have helped if there was probable cause to believe the person was engaged in terrorist activity, according to AP.

Hawaii law enforcement officers would be prevented from inquiring about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses and those who approach the police for help. Exceptions would be made to investigate potential criminal activity by the person.

But Takayama said he thinks counties need to make those decisions, not the state.

“I didn’t think there is a compelling need for a state law in this area,” Takayama told AP.

Rep. Dee Morikawa said she agrees with Takayama, but didn’t comment further.

Tokioka said he spoke at length with Takayama about the issue, conveying the message that the Aloha State needs to make sure it is caring for its own before spreading that aloha on to others.

“We need to manage our resources better and make sure there’s enough resources for, in my case, people on Kauai,” Tokioka said. “Bringing more people to the state would not be good for people in need of resources on Kauai in my opinion.”


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or at

  1. Tammi Kale March 13, 2019 4:20 am Reply

    For the State of Hawaii to be so against President Trump building the security wall – and claiming his doing so is a sheer act of hatred – it is apalling that they do not welcome being a sanctuary for those they claim should be allowed to waltz right in on the mainland! Shame on their condemnation of Trump when they do even worse!

  2. No get nuts March 13, 2019 5:33 am Reply

    There’s no room here!!!! Why is it America always starting the problem and when it blows back in their face, Hawaii stuck babysitting?!?!
    It already expensive! it’s already hard to find wor ! already a homeless problem!!!

    1. Jay March 13, 2019 12:05 pm Reply

      Oh but you love Illegals, right?… you need to feel the full effect of what you feel is unjust…you think it’s alright for illegals to walk right in, then carry the weight of your decisions, and pay the taxes they incur.

  3. Sam March 13, 2019 7:46 am Reply

    I agree that we need to take care of the needy we already have instead of adding more and more people to the problem. The houseing crisis on Kauai alone needs some major attention! Why would we encourage more people to come into an already dire situation. We need to help people that’s true, our own people that are already here and struggling.

  4. gordon oswald March 13, 2019 10:35 am Reply

    100% agree! Thank you for a commons sense letter in the face of politically correct insanity that is creeping into our Society!

  5. Ehu March 13, 2019 10:56 am Reply

    So many people in Hawaii oppose Sanctuary State Status for Hawaii but are okay with sending all the illegals to other mainland States? How hypocritical. Where is Tulsi on this?

    1. Jime May 15, 2019 3:56 pm Reply

      Ehu: Send them back to where they originally came from. No need to hamper the other states.
      How? Have their govts. pay for the transport and all costs back to their country and/or these illegals must work the pineapple fields till earning enough to send them back. Problem solved!

  6. Jose Bulatao March 13, 2019 12:05 pm Reply

    As an island-state with extremely limited finite resources, the carrying capacities of Hawaii must be carefully monitored to protect and preserve the environmental integrity of those precious and limited resources

  7. manongindashadow March 13, 2019 4:22 pm Reply

    If we become a Sanctuary State, we will become a Third World State.
    People won’t support our President. Yet, they don’t want people moving into our State!

    I for one is against becoming a Sanctuary State.

  8. Geckoman March 13, 2019 5:33 pm Reply

    I echo that the chairman actually put his party’s Trump derangement syndrome aside and thought this through.

  9. harry oyama March 13, 2019 8:32 pm Reply

    Liberal Democrats just love illegals because they are the ones that keep voting them in. Job security for the liberals, while taxpayers end up paying for useless parasites.

  10. Robert Bloom April 9, 2019 3:58 pm Reply

    To make Hawaii a sanctuary State would not significantly change the existing landscape of our islands. We already have a workforce here that has filled positions in Tourism, Construction, Food Service and Farming, Hotels and other related vacation destination jobs. These are jobs that some locals will not do. These illegal workers pay taxes and care about the community and make our communities a better place to live.
    I would agree that any illegal aliens that do not follow our State and Federal laws would be grounds for immediate deportation. If we practice Aloha we should be able to make a life that cares for everyone.

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