On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam issued a veto that blocks a Republican-sponsored immigration bill that would have banned sanctuary cities in the state. Northam explained his decision in the statement below:
“The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable, supported and protected by our public safety agencies.”
He also vetoed another Republican bill that would have required local correctional and regional jail officials to notify ICE of forthcoming releases of any undocumented immigrants in their custody. “Local and regional correctional facilities have, and should retain, discretion to determine how they choose to engage with federal immigration agencies,” Northam said in his statement.
This video, courtesy of Vox, lays out some reasons that localities would opt to become a “sanctuary city” and not to cooperate with ICE or Border Patrol.
Both ICE and the Border Patrole have a notoriously bad record when it comes to their treatment of immigrants, including how they chose to enforce the policy that led to parents and children being separated and locked in cages.
It’s unlikely Republicans will be able to override Northam’s veto, given their narrow 51-49 edge in the House and 21-19 edge in the Senate, but they’ll return to Richmond on April 3rd and are expected to try.