ANTI-SANCTUARY CITIES BILLS PASS VIRGINIA SENATE
At best, brochure bills send unwelcoming message to immigrant communities
Richmond, Va. – This afternoon, two Republican bills designed to stop cities and counties from adopting so-called “sanctuary policies” passed the Senate on party-line votes. Senator Dick Black’s (R-Loudoun) SB705 would make sanctuary localities liable for personal injury or property damage caused by undocumented immigrants within those localities. Senator Tom Garrett’s (R-Buckingham) SB270 bars localities from “restrict[ing] the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law,” and requires the General Assembly to defund localities that violate that requirement.
Said Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), “We continue to send the message that Virginia is not open. That Virginia does not want people coming to the state. That Virginia does not like people who don’t look like us or who don’t share our values. The reality is that for states that have booming economies, for states that are open, for states that have policies that embrace people with new ideas, with new cultures – their economies thrive. Their economies boom. That’s the kind of message that we need to send so that this entire state can enjoy the same successes we’ve had in northern Virginia.”
Said Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke), "These measures make no sense at all. Punishing localities by withholding state funding for schools or by making localities pay damages for personal injury or wrongful death caused by undocumented immigrants who happen to be in a locality, would be an unprecedented assault on the taxpayers of the locality."