Va. Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Banned Sanctuary Policies

Earlier this week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the establishment of “sanctuary” policies in the state. The bill included the text that “[n]o locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

The governor explained his decision to veto the bill, stating that

[The bill] imposes an unnecessary and divisive requirement upon localities regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

This legislation would force local law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions that are the responsibility of federal immigration enforcement agencies. It also sends a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.

Localities have the right to determine whether to expend the resources and voluntarily enter into an agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. …

There are many actions we can take to support law enforcement and keep Virginians safe. Placing new unfunded mandates on state and local public safety agencies in order to make a political point is not one of them.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.