Burlington leaders respond to President Trump’s comments on sanctuary cities

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Tuesday, President Donald Trump held a roundtable on sanctuary cities.

Sanctuary city is the term given to communities offering protection for undocumented immigrants.

“Our cities should be Sanctuaries for Americans – not for criminal aliens,” said Trump.

In Vermont, there are a handful of sanctuary cities, including in the Green Mountain State’s largest city, Burlington.

Wednesday, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo responded to the comments, speaking on behalf of Mayor Miro Weinberger.

“Mayor Miro Weinberger has made Burlington’s position clear on several occasions: we will always cooperate with the federal government on criminal immigration matters. Mayor Weinberger has said that we will decline to participate in deporting people under the provisions of civil law. The city and its police also don’t enforce mental health law and medical malpractice law, which are also civil matters, for example. There is nothing extraordinary about this. It’s a judgment about how to use our resources in the best interests of public safety and the people living and working in Vermont. For the federal government to say a city is less safe because it doesn’t help the feds deport non-criminals for civil law violations is disingenuous. It’s just saying that if police help deport enough people for non-criminal reasons, there’s bound to be a few criminals somewhere in the lot. You could say the same thing about doing mass sweeps for violations of any type of civil law. It doesn’t make for good common sense or for good public safety.”

In January, the Justice Department announced a crackdown on sanctuary cities Wednesday and Burlington was on its list.

The department issued letters to 23 cities across the country asking for proof that federal law is being followed.

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