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Vermont governor supports deporting some illegal aliens

By   /   April 7, 2017  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 11 of 11 in the series Sanctuary Policies

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he would consider deporting some criminal aliens residing in Vermont illegally.

The statement represents a modest change in the governor’s approach to illegal immigration, which has been at odds with the Trump administration’s policy and executive orders.

ILLEGAL ALIENS: Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, who has been in opposition to President Trump’s immigration policy, said on Thursday that he would deport illegals in the state with “egregious” criminal records.

Scott expressed concerns about illegal aliens convicted of violent crime and DUIs, saying they represent a potential threat to the safety of other residents. However, Scott was unable to provide either a clear definition of what justifies an illegal immigrant’s deportation or the number of alien residents that should be deported.

“If you’re convicted of criminal activity, I think you should be deported,” Scott said. “[But] I will clarify… [I am speaking of] egregious crimes.”

On March 28, Scott signed into law S.79 , a bill crafted to shield illegal immigrants from “compulsory collection of personally identifying information, or dissemination of that information for purposes of establishing a mandatory federal registry or database.”

Immigration experts have told Watchdog that concealing data about illegal immigrants could cause Vermont to lose federal dollars it receives to support a variety of programs, including law enforcement.

RELATED: Hiding illegal resident identities from police could cost Vermont federal funds

Rebecca Kelley, the governor’s communications director, told Vermont Watchdog that “our understanding is that our state policies are compliant with federal law and, therefore, there would not be a justification for withholding federal funds.”

Vermont Watchdog has reported that among the characteristics the state wants hidden from federal immigration enforcement officers are immigration status, national origin, religion, race and color. But, following Scott’s statement on Thursday, it is uncertain how deportation in Vermont can occur without some state officials revealing the status of criminal immigrants in contradiction to the spirit of S.79.

Louis Varricchio is Vermont bureau chief of Vermont Watchdog.org. You can contact him at [email protected]

Part of 11 in the series Sanctuary Policies

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Lou Varricchio is bureau chief for Vermont Watchdog. He has 20 years experience in print and broadcast journalism, including newspaper work in Pennsylvania and also in Vermont, where he was formerly managing editor of multiple New Market Press newspapers. He was a senior science writer at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, and appeared as the co-host on “Our Changing Planet,” a mini-series produced by the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium and distributed by Prairie Public Television. Lou has written, produced and hosted several science documentaries distributed nationwide through Public Radio International and American Public Radio. He is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.