Levar Stoney, the newly elected 35-year-old mayor of Richmond, Va., has officially declared war against President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement policies and vowed to provide sanctuary for illegal aliens who live within his city’s borders.
In his mayoral declaration issued on Monday, Stoney, who's a Democrat, promised the Virginia capital would “protect and promote policies of inclusion for all of its residents, regardless of their national origin [or] immigration or refugee status.”
Stoney added that city law enforcement officers won’t be permitted to act as immigration enforcers, a policy that’s permitted by federal agreement under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s 287(g) program.
“The Richmond Police Department will not consent to participate with the Immigration Customs Enforcement 287(g) agreements, and in the interest of public safety and protecting communities, will maintain its policy of not inquiring as to the place of birth or immigration statues of individuals with whom it comes into contact.”
Here's the declaration in full:
To his credit, Stoney’s directive stops short of claiming that the city’s law enforcement won’t cooperate with federal immigration officials who try to take custody of an illegal alien who’s been arrested for a crime, a policy that largely defines so-called “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco and New York City. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off federal funding for sanctuary cities that don’t abide by federal immigration laws.
But in a stark contrast to Stoney’s clearly left-leaning political stance, the Virginia State Senate approved a bill Monday that would allow victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens to sue Virginia cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration law, setting up a potential future battle between the state legislature and the very city it's housed in.