For the second time, Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed a bill to prevent the establishment of sanctuary cities in Virginia – a complete reversal of his 2017 campaign promise to sign into law anti-sanctuary cities measures.
In the midst of a tight battle with Republican Ed Gillespie, and with his record as Lt. Governor under the scrutiny, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Northam claimed he was opposed to sanctuary cities.
“I don’t support sanctuary cities,” Northam declared during an October debate,
He even went so far as to promise to sign legislation that outlaws sanctuary jurisdictions in Virginia if elected.
“If that bill comes to by desk …. I sure will. I’ve always been opposed to sanctuary cities,” said Northam in an interview in the final week of the campaign.
With the end of the campaign came the end of Northam’s fidelity to the rule of law, which was evident last week when he once again killed efforts to ensure Virginia would be sanctuary city-free.
Passed by the Virginia legislature, Senate Bill 1156 was a one-sentence bill stating that “no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy intended to restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”
In his March 19 veto statement, Northam claimed the bill would “force local law enforcement agencies to use precious resources to perform functions that are the responsibility of federal immigration enforcement agencies.”
Last week’s veto echoed the one issued last year – all the way down to the language used in his veto statement.
Again, the entire text of HB 1257 was less than 20 words and made no mention of local law enforcement actively assisting federal immigration agents.
Nonetheless, in his April 9, 2018 statement, Northam characterized the bill as aiming to “divert state and local law enforcement resources for political purposes.”
In addition to killing the anti-sanctuary cities bill, Northam also vetoed House Bill 2270, which would require local law enforcement notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) once the release date of an incarcerated illegal alien becomes known.
The governor claimed signing it would place an “unnecessary requirement” on local police to act as federal agents.
What Ralph Northam refuses to recognize is that his decision to promote sanctuary cities is a betrayal of not only a campaign promise, but the oath he took as governor to protect the residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.