Gov. Northam vetoes sanctuary cities bill

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General Assembly Northam_1553093666414

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, top center, greets members of the Richmond 34 and other African-American leaders for a breakfast at the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. The Richmond 34 were a group of African Americans who defied segregation laws in the 1960’s (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has again vetoed a bill aimed at preventing so-called “sanctuary cities” in the state.

Northam, a Democrat, said he was vetoing the legislation Tuesday because it imposes an unneeded burden on local law enforcement officials and “sends a chilling message.”

It was the same statement he issued last year when he vetoed the same legislation.

A sanctuary city is a term without legal definition but generally means a locality that limits cooperation with federal immigration enforcement activities.

Republicans said the legislation is needed to ensure federal immigration efforts aren’t hampered. The bill narrowly passed the GOP-led General Assembly along party lines.

Northam also vetoed legislation requiring local law enforcement officials to notify federal officials when a person living in the country illegally is released from jail.

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