Sanctuary policies; enforcement of federal immigration laws. (HB1257)

Introduced By

Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst) with support from co-patrons Del. Dickie Bell (R-Staunton), Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), Del. Matt Fariss (R-Rustburg), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), and Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sanctuary policies prohibited. Provides that no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. Read the Bill »


02/19/2018: passed committee


  • 01/10/2018 Committee
  • 01/10/2018 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102897D
  • 01/10/2018 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 01/24/2018 Impact statement from DHCD (HB1257)
  • 01/30/2018 Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
  • 02/07/2018 Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendments (5-Y 3-N)
  • 02/09/2018 Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (9-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/10/2018 Read first time
  • 02/12/2018 Engrossed by House as amended HB1257E (50-Y 49-N)
  • 02/12/2018 Read second time
  • 02/12/2018 Committee amendment agreed to
  • 02/12/2018 Engrossed by House as amended (50-Y 49-N) HB1257E
  • 02/12/2018 VOTE: ENGROSSMENT (50-Y 49-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/12/2018 Printed as engrossed 18102897D-E
  • 02/13/2018 Read third time and defeated by House (50-Y 50-N)
  • 02/13/2018 VOTE: DEFEATED (50-Y 50-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/13/2018 Reconsideration of defeated action agreed to by House (52-Y 48-N)
  • 02/13/2018 VOTE: RECONSIDER (52-Y 48-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/13/2018 Passed House (51-Y 49-N)
  • 02/13/2018 VOTE: PASSAGE #2 (51-Y 49-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/14/2018 Constitutional reading dispensed
  • 02/14/2018 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 02/19/2018 Rereferred from Courts of Justice (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/19/2018 Rereferred to General Laws and Technology


ACLU-VA Immigrants Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this legislation that would impose an unfunded mandate on localities to provide resources to the federal government to carry out its enforcement of the nation's broken immigration laws, and prohibit localities from adopting policies that enhance the safety of our communities by creating positive relationships with foreign born Virginians and immigrant communities.

Phil Storey writes:

This bill is a horrible policy for so many reasons. Even assuming the bill is not motivated by prejudice, it is exceedingly bad public policy, tying the hands of localities that need to be able to identify and address policy priorities based on actual community needs. The bill would effectively require that immigration enforcement be the #1 priority of all local government in Virginia, without exception. That would mean that no other priorities--no matter how important or urgent--can take precedence over local enforcement of immigration law. It means there can be no public health emergency, no disaster, no public safety issue that a locality can prioritize over the local enforcement of immigration law. It would mean, for example, that local police departments could never assure victims or witnesses that reporting crimes will not result in an immigration investigation or deportation by ICE. This would make our communities much less safe for all.

Rob Waters writes:

This bill has failed on the floor with a 50-50 vote.

Rob Waters writes:

And on a second vote, requested by Helsel, it passed.

Great job, considering how many immigrant contribute to VA's economy.

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