RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Senate has passed a bill aimed at preventing so-called “sanctuary cities” despite veto promises from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.
The GOP-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to approve legislation that would ban localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Republicans said the bill is needed to show that Virginia respects the rule of law and that undocumented immigrants are not entitled to special privileges.
Virginia has no sanctuary cities, a term without a legal definition but one generally meaning a locality that limits cooperation with federal immigration activities.
Northam and Democratic legislators say the bill sends a message that Virginia is unwelcoming to immigrants.
The House has previously passed a slightly different version of the legislation and needs to accept the Senate’s amendments before it goes to Northam.