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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

GOP Lawmakers Differ On Governor's Immigration Bill

Patti Daniels
Winooski residents rally against President Donald Trump's immigration policies on February 4, 2017. Signs include, "No Human Is Illegal," and "All Are Welcome."

Vermont's Republican governor asked the Legislature to deliver a state law that blunts some of federal law enforcement's ability to identify undocumented people for deportation. The state Senate unanimously agreed, and now the House will weigh in. So where do Republican legislators stand on the question?

The Senate bill gives the governor the sole authority to enter into agreements with federal immigration officials, not local police departments. Gov. Phil Scott says that's important because he doesn't support the Trump administration's plan to ask local and state police to take part in deportation raids. The bill also blocks federal officials from obtaining personal information from Vermont police concerning a person's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, race, color, religion, national origin, immigration status, age, or disability.

Franklin County Republican Dustin Degree co-sponsored the bill in the state Senate. But in the House, minority leader Don Turner declined to put his name on the legislation. They are our guests to discuss the legislation and the role of local law enforcement in carrying out federal immigration policy.

Also in the program, free speech on campus. Middlebury College's political science department has a controversial speaker coming this week, and that's drawn fire from some other faculty members. We learn why students invited American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray to campus and what the objection is from Political Science chair Bert Johnson and Sociology chair Michael Sheridan.

Broadcast live on Monday, February 27, 2017 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Patti is an integral part of VPR's news effort and part of the team that created Vermont Edition. As executive producer, Patti supervises the team that puts Vermont Edition on the air every day, working with producers to select and research show ideas, select guests and develop the sound and tone of the program.
Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
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