Governor Northam has vetoed Delegate Ben Cline’s (R-Rockingham) bill that would prohibit sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants in Virginia. The bill reads,
No locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”
Seems simple enough, cities can’t interfere with federal immigration laws, but the Governor finds this to be “unnecessary and divisive”. From the Washington Post,
“This legislation would force local law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions that are the responsibility of federal immigration enforcement agencies,” Northam wrote in a statement accompanying the veto. “It also sends a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.”
Enforcing federal law negatively impacts public safety? How?
Delegate Cline responded,
“Ensuring that Virginia localities abide by federal immigration laws is a matter of public safety and upholding the rule of law, “ Cline said. “Governor Northam’s veto of my bill to ban sanctuary cities in Virginia is indefensible.”
We all remember last year when Northam was running for office saying he would sign a bill banning sanctuary cities. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch during a debate with candidate Ed Gillespie on November 1st, 2017 on sanctuary cities, Northam claimed support for banning them,
“If that bill ( banning santuary cities) comes to by desk … I sure will (sign it). I’ve always been opposed to sanctuary cities. He knows that,”
The Washington Post also reports during his campaign Northam said he would support a ban on sanctuary cities.
It is unlikely the General Assembly will have enough votes to override Northam’s veto.