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Burlington Mayor Discusses DOJ Letter Asserting Violation Of Federal Immigration Policy

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Burlington VT Mayor's Office
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger

This week, the Department of Justice sent letters to 29 jurisdictions across the country asking them to prove they are complying with federal immigration law that requires information sharing.  Albany, NY, Lawrence, Massachusetts, the state of Vermont and the city of Burlington are among the jurisdictions that received letters.  Burlington Democratic Mayor Miro Weinberger made the DOJ letter public.  He says the notice is concerning, but not surprising.
"What I meant by that is  you know Donald Trump made it pretty clear when he was running for President that he would attempt to take this kind of action against cities and states that didn’t agree with his immigration policies. And so this is why just a couple weeks after the election last fall I called for a review of the city’s policy. And we spent months with the city council looking carefully at it and we’re quite confident that the policy that we have written and that really represents the way in which we have policed Burlington for a long time is something that is consistent with federal law.  The issues that they are raising are ones that we had identified that they might raise. But we just have a fundamental disagreement that we do not believe the federal government can deputize Burlington police officers to enforce their draconian immigration policies. And so that’s what we will be arguing in the weeks ahead."

During his weekly press conference, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, said the state carefully crafted its Fair and Impartial Policing Policy and doesn’t believe the U.S. Justice Department has done its homework. The jurisdictions receiving the letter have until December 8th to respond.

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