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Virginia governor vetoes bill that would ban 'sanctuary cities'

[JURIST] Virginia Governor Ralph Northam [official website] on Monday vetoed [press release] Virginia House Bill 1257 [text], which would have banned so-called "sanctuary cities."

The bill would have prohibited cities and municipalities from implementing any policy that "restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws." The governor stated that the bill would have sent "a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety."

The governor also explained that many localities have found it better to develop a relationship with immigrant communities for the good of overall public safety. Northam believed the bill would cause people to fear law enforcement and not participate in policing their communities by assisting law enforcement in investigations or reporting criminal activity.

The General Assembly will have a chance to override the veto later in April, but the Washington Post reports[WP report] that this is not likely to occur as the bill passed through both the House and Senate by a narrow margin.

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