Gov. Chris Christie vows to veto proposed funds for sanctuary cities

Gov. Chris Christie vowed to veto any proposed funds for sanctuary cities that lose federal funding.

Gov. Chris Christie vowed to veto any proposed funds for sanctuary cities that lose federal funding. (2/14/17)

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie says that he won’t supplement sanctuary cities with state money should they lose their federal funding for not enforcing federal immigration laws.

The state Senate was due to vote on a bill on Monday, but that was delayed because some Democrats who support the measure were not able to attend the voting session. Republican Senate leaders say the measure could cost the state billions of dollars.

Speaking during his radio program on NJ101.5 on Monday night, the Republican governor sharply criticized the proposal.

“You’ve got to enforce the law that’s there,” he said. “That [bill] is so outrageous and such political pandering that I will veto that on arrival."

Sanctuary cities are locales that don't cooperate with immigration authorities. Eleven cities in New Jersey, including Newark, Camden and Jersey City, have vowed to protect their immigrant populations from deportation.

“We are not going to enforce federal immigration law. It isn’t our job,” says Democratic Jersey City Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.

Mukherji is one of the sponsors of the reimbursement bill.

"The state would advance these funds and allow the municipalities to apply for up to a dollar for dollar reimbursement from the state DCA."

If the funding is cut, cities would sue the President Donald Trump, and Mukherji says that he expects they'd win back that money.

"The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says that local governments do not have to implement federal mandates,” he says.

Some of New Jersey's other large cities decided not to officially declare sanctuary status. The New Brunswick mayor says that it's already the city’s policy not to assist on immigration raids.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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