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Virginia governor vetoes sanctuary cities bill

Ralph Northam is attempting to restart his role as governor through the "veto session" after an admission that he once wore blackface in the 1980s. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax will be back presiding over the Senate after he flatly denied two sexual assault accusations. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — 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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