Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Thursday said he will veto three different bills coming through his state's legislature authorizing the use of local and state law enforcement to expand the federal government enforcement of immigration laws.
"We will not turn our local law enforcement into ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials," McAuliffe told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I deal with our sheriffs and state police on a day-to-day basis. They don't want this. They are busy doing their jobs and keeping our community safe. They are not federal ICE officers nor are we going to have them become federal ICE officers.."
McAuliffe said he want to Dulles Airport when a family with two children was detained for hours, even though they had United States passports when President Donald Trump's first executive order on foreign travel was enacted.
"They were detained for hours without access to legal counsel," the Democratic governor said. "This is not an America we know. Now with these new ICE orders, they can stop whoever they want. We should be using it for law enforcement to get folks who are bad actors and get them out of the country. I agree with that but people are going to be driven underground and have diseases and not go to hospitals and not work with the law enforcement."
The new rules are crippling business and scaring families, he said using the example of a family business from northern Virginia, which is owned by a family that came from Afghanistan and employs 60 people.
"They are terrified," he said. "That is not how you build a country."
He does agree that illegal immigrants who have committed crimes should be deported, but Congress has neglected implementing a comprehensive, nationwide immigration policy for years.
"We are not going to deport ourselves out of this problem and we will not deport 11.4 million people," he said. "Stop that talk! You're scaring people. We had a case in Virginia the other day at a church, a hypothermia center we had individuals went overnight to get out of the cold and when they came out, ICE agents randomly confronted individuals.
They are stopping people on the street with a photograph saying, 'Do you know this person?' If we have changed our policy in this great nation, we can randomly stop whoever we want. I think that is gravely dangerous this country. We need to be careful."
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