Vermont officials are responding to two executive orders signed by President Donald Trump this week on immigration, including the withholding of federal funding for cities and towns designated as sanctuary cities.
Burlington will examine the implications of the executive order that President Trump signed this week that would withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities.
That order is called Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, and also calls for aggressive actions to deport unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S., with an expansive definition of what constitutes criminal grounds for deportation. The order could have consequences for the thousands of farm workers living in Vermont illegally.
A second order, called Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, makes good on Trump's campaign pledge to build a border wall with Mexico.
In a statement to VPR, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says it isn't surprising that Trump is following through on his promises.
"We will continue to be guided by Burlington’s inclusive values and longstanding practices," Weinberger said.
In November, Weinberger announced that he wanted Burlington to formalize its status as a sanctuary city. An ad hoc committee is examining the process and consequences of securing that status.
Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Scott says he’s dismayed by the executive orders.
"I came from Barre, with a rich ethnic history," Scott said Thursday, "and I believe that immigration is part of the path forward for us in Vermont. I think it could be extremely helpful for our economy. And I just think this pushes us in the wrong direction."
Gov. Scott says his legal team is exploring the potential impacts of Trump’s orders on Vermont.
And on Wednesday, Attorney General TJ Donovan announced the formation of an immigration task force to explore whether Vermont can blunt the impact of Trump's orders.