For Immediate Release: March 19, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Imposing Unnecessary Requirements on Localities Regarding Federal Immigration Law Enforcement

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2270, which would impose an unnecessary requirement upon localities regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The Governor’s veto statement is below.

March 19, 2019

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2270, which imposes an unnecessary requirement upon localities regarding the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Local and regional correctional facilities have, and should retain, discretion to determine how they choose to engage with federal immigration agencies. This legislation impedes decision-making by administrators of these facilities by eliminating that discretion.

Public safety agencies across the Commonwealth have a long tradition of engaging in community policing strategies, and many have recognized how important it is to develop a relationship with immigrant communities in order to keep all of those who live within the locality safe. 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.

There are many actions we can take to support public safety and keep Virginians safe. Eliminating local discretion and impeding local decision-making are not appropriate options. Were it to become law, this bill would send a clear message to people across the Commonwealth that our public safety agencies are to be feared and avoided rather than trusted and engaged.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Ralph S. Northam

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