Connecticut’s Democratic governor is telling state and local law enforcement they do not have to comply with federal requests to detain residents who are in the country illegally, a day after the Trump administration detailed plans that could lead to millions of deportations.
In a memo to state law enforcement and school district officials Wednesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said Connecticut officials should not detain anyone solely on the basis of their immigration status. Federal immigration detainer requests do not constitute orders or warrants, Malloy’s memo says.
Law enforcement officials should not give federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers access to individuals in state or local jails, Malloy’s office added.
“Putting all opinions about this presidential executive order aside, its enforcement is going to have a local impact, especially given the constrained resources and financial impacts this will have on state and municipal budgets, which we already know are stretched to their limits, in addition to giving rise to serious concerns in affected communities,” Malloy said in a statement.
Connecticut is one of a handful of states that call themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. A state law passed in 2013 requires law enforcement agencies to detain an individual for breaking immigration laws if they have been convicted of a felony, are a known gang member, are on a federal terrorism watch list or face criminal charges and have not posted bond.
In a memo to state school districts, Malloy’s office urged education officials to develop a plan in the event that immigration agents show up at schools. Malloy said he expected the Trump administration to adhere to the same guidelines as the Obama administration, which put schools, courthouses and other “sensitive locations” off limits to immigration enforcement actions.
One provision of the new immigration guidelines, issued Tuesday, directs the Department of Homeland Security and immigration enforcement agencies to enlist local law enforcement agencies in efforts to enforce federal immigration law. There is no federal law requiring local agencies to adhere to those guidelines.