Should the Vermont Legislature Commend Sanctuary Cities?

Posted by Rob Roper

A large number of legislators have signed onto a joint resolution “commending Vermont municipalities that have adopted or are considering adopting sanctuary status.” J.R.H 2 reads:

Whereas, American jurisdictions outside Vermont, including numerous counties, as well as the cities of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chicago, Illinois, have adopted formal sanctuary city policies, and Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and Los Angeles, California, have implemented some type of immigration status protections, and

Whereas, in Vermont, the Montpelier City Council passed a resolution authorizing the city to adopt a sanctuary city policy, and sanctuary city policies are being considered in Burlington, South Burlington, Winooski, and other towns, and

Whereas, undocumented residents of Vermont confront the constant fear that if deported they may face political persecution and potentially physical harm in their countries of origin, and

Whereas, the General Assembly enacted 2014 Acts and Resolves No 193 (the Act), requiring that by July 1, 2016, the State’s municipalities adopt the mandatory provisions of the Criminal Justice Training Council’s impartial model policing policy, including not asking persons about their immigration status, and

Whereas, the Act did allow the State’s municipalities to refrain from adopting the optional provisions of the model policy, such as disregarding federal requests to detain undocumented residents, and

Whereas, Grand Isle County and the towns of Milton and Williston have adopted the model policy in full, and

Whereas, throughout the world, millions of people are displaced by war, violence, economic or political strife, and natural disasters and are forced to seek safety and a better life elsewhere, and

Whereas, Vermont has a long tradition of protecting the politically threatened, dating to its official refusal prior to the Civil War to cooperate with federal fugitive slave acts and Vermonters’ participation in the Underground Railroad that assisted escaped slaves fleeing to Canada, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commends Vermont municipalities that have adopted or are considering adopting sanctuary status, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Governor Phil Scott, and the Vermont Congressional Delegation.

This resolution is being treated as a bill and has been sent to the House Committee on Government Operations for consideration. As such, it could come back to the floor for a formal vote, or it could hang on the wall and be forgotten.

A “Sanctuary City” is a municipality that refuses to enforce federal immigration laws to one extent or another, thus providing a “sanctuary” to those residing in the country illegally. The Trump Administration has threatened to cut off federal funds that currently flow to sanctuary cities. Burlington would, for example, lose as much as $9.8 million in federal funding if it became an official sanctuary city and the Administration followed through on its proposed policy.

What do you think?

These are the Representatives who have signed onto the resolution so far:  Representatives Ancel of Calais, Bartholomew of Hartland, Baser of Bristol, Botzow of Pownal, Briglin of Thetford, Burditt of West Rutland, Burke of Brattleboro, Carr of Brandon, Christie of Hartford, Conlon of Cornwall, Conquest of Newbury, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Dakin of Colchester, Deen of Westminster, Donahue of Northfield, Dunn of Essex, Emmons of Springfield, Gannon of Wilmington, Grad of Moretown, Greshin of Warren, Haas of Rochester, Hooper of Montpelier, Jessup of Middlesex, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Lanpher of Vergennes, Lippert of Hinesburg, Long of Newfane, Lucke of Hartford, Masland of Thetford, McCormack of Burlington, Morris of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, O’Sullivan of Burlington, Olsen of Londonderry, Partridge of Windham, Pugh of South Burlington, Rachelson of Burlington, Scheu of Middlebury, Sharpe of Bristol, Sibilia of Dover, Squirrell of Underhill, Stevens of Waterbury, Stuart of Brattleboro, Sullivan of Burlington, Till of Jericho, Toleno of Brattleboro, Townsend of South Burlington, Troiano of Stannard, Webb of Shelburne, Wood of Waterbury, Yantachka of Charlotte, and Young of Glover

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

H. Brooke Paige January 31, 2017 at 1:07 am

J.R.H #2 – The Unauthorized Guest in Your Home !

Referring to illegal aliens as an undocumented residents is the equivalent of identifying the burglar in your home as an unauthorized guest ! Following the illustration to its conclusion, maybe this is why the liberals in our midst are so willing to provide these intruders with every imaginable accommodation and benefit – often beyond those provided to actual citizens. Possibly their largess is not the result of generosity or cherty, rather out of the fear that if this criminals needs and wants are not assuaged – they well may plan a visit a nighttime “visit” to satisfy their requirements. If the “undocumented residents” in their new found “sanctuaries” are confident that their removal is only theoretical and law enforcement has been instructed not to intervene in their activities – chaos will surely reign !

Vermont’s Joint House Resolution 2 comments and encourages lawlessness and a disregard for the Federal Government’s supremacy in regard to the Immigration and Naturalization Laws and their enforcement.

The lawless communities should expect to suffer the consequences !


Robert Bishop February 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Vermont should in no-way have any ties to this with out a vote from its residents .I will do citizens arrest if nessisary. Robert Bishop


Karen Borden February 14, 2017 at 8:11 pm

I think the people paying taxes in Vermont should vote on this issue. After all, the taxpayers will be the ones paying for all this in the end. Like it or not Trump is our President. I am glad he is interested in protecting all Americans. Why should some certain people be able to decide for all in Vermont what should be. It will change this state forever. Some taxpayers may not like the idea of such a changed Vermont and have to pay too.


Marlene March 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm

The Vermont legislature should not, in any way be taking this under advisement without a vote from the taxpayers.
How can they just decide to condone any level of civil disobedience? They cannot pick and choose which laws to follow…….where would it stop? Millions of people do what they need to in order to come here legally. It does take a long time, and in some cases an incredibly long time. Yet they manage to meet the law.
The issue of immigration is complicated. The issues surrounding immigrant’s reasons for being here can be extremely emotional. Immigration should happen. Illegal immigration should not. We have laws. If we ignore immigration laws, why can’t we just ignore all laws? We can’t. That would be absurd.
42.4 million immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2016 In perspective this is just over 13% of the population
It is estimated that 11 million are here illegally.
Over 30 million achieved legal status by doing what they needed to do. It took years. Some cases….decades.
Like anything else if you want something you need to work for it. You need to do it the right way.
Like any other crime (illegal anything is a crime) there is a consequence. We raise our kids (most of us) to make choices and to accept the rewards or consequences of those choices.
They should be detained if located (in my opinion) and they should be deported.
if they are in jail and released…they should be released back to their country of origin. It’s a harsh reality. But there are rules in a civilized world. Everyone needs to follow them.
If we don’t enforce our laws, then what is the point of having them?
The economic stresses illegal (undocumented if that makes you feel better); immigrants place upon our communities could be catastrophic. We’re already financially stressed in schools, courtrooms and hospitals.
The risk of federal funding to our State sure is not worth it to me.
If all 50 states became sanctuary states, then why have ICE? Why have laws regarding entry to our country? Just open the borders and let anyone in.
No? You want to pick and choose which nationality to allow in without going through any channels? Not ok. Not if you wish to be a “sanctuary” state.
This won’t happen on my dime. If you don’t support this bill, in order to defeat it, you MUST write or call your state representative, your legislators, your senator….Congress. Your voices need to be heard somewhere other than a comment section online.


S Delorme April 22, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I hope that the people that are in favor of this are ready to make up the loss of federal funds. Vermont is in serious debt and now will be much more so if we loose federal funding. What are you thinking?


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