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February 25, 2019

Today, the ACLU of Virginia sent Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam a letter calling on him to veto Senate Bill 1156, which prohibits “sanctuary” localities, and House Bill 2270, which requires sheriffs to report information regarding incarcerated and undocumented immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "These unnecessary bills will do nothing to solve our national immigration crisis, but they will send a chilling message to people who are immigrants and make our Commonwealth less safe," as stated in the letter.

At a time when Virginia should be moving further away from helping ICE enforce federal immigration law, both of these bills ultimately make Virginians and Virginia communities less safe, creating unnecessary reporting requirements and breaking any existing trust between immigrants and local police. The letter also states that "the ACLU of Virginia believes we should work to create communities that are inclusive of all people, including immigrants. Any legislation that sparks fear of law enforcement in Virginia's immigrants is harmful to us all. In addition, these kinds of anti-immigrant message bills encourage hostility to the more than 11 percent of Virginians who are foreign born and create an atmosphere conducive to ethnically and racially motivated violence."

You can read the full letter below and take action now to urge the governor to veto these harmful bills.