On Wednesday, the crackdown on illegal immigration pursued by the federal government had the state of California in its sights, with a lawsuit being filed by the Justice Department to try and block state laws protecting undocumented immigrants. The move has many wondering if Burlington may soon be next on the list.
Mayor, Miro Weinberger, concedes the city could face a similar lawsuit, but on Wednesday again stated that the city is complying with current laws. In 2017, Burlington and the state of Vermont received letters from the Justice Department, along with many other jurisdictions around the US. It warned them not to illegally withhold information from federal immigration authorities and noted that public safety grants could be at risk for states and cities that refused to cooperate.
But, Weinberger said there are many differences with the laws in California. He added that Burlington has articulated to the Justice Department on several occasions that it is complying with the law while policing the community in a way that is consistent and safe, saying there is no reason to yet believe it will face a similar situation to California.
The Mayor said the Department of Justice (DOJ) was particularly concerned that the policing policy of Burlington could be in violation of federal laws but that documentation proving otherwise was provided at the end of February, though the DOJ has yet to deliver its response.