Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy advised schools and members of law enforcement to disobey President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration.
"Law enforcement should not take action that is solely to enforce federal immigration law," Malloy told state law enforcement, the Hartford Courant reports. "The federal government cannot mandate states to investigate and enforce actions that have no nexus to the enforcement of Connecticut law or local ordinances."
Defying federal orders, Malloy urged officials to not detain people based on their immigration status, reports The Hill.
Additionally, he encouraged authorities to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement away from those in state or local prisons.
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Malloy argues abiding by federal orders will hurt the state.
"Putting all opinions about this presidential executive order aside, its enforcement is going to have a local impact, especially given the constrained resources and financial impacts this will have on state and municipal budgets, which we already know are stretched to their limits, in addition to giving rise to serious concerns in affected communities," said Malloy.
While he said he doesn't expect immigration agents to visit schools, he also urged education authorities to formulate plans just in case they do.
His words have sparked controversy.
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"Who does this Governor think he is, the law is the law and it shall be enforced, another one that needs to be voted out of office," wrote one man on Conservative Daily's Facebook page.
Other commenters said Trump should cut off federal funding to Connecticut in response. Some thought Malloy should be punished.
"When a govt official tells you to ignore the law, he or she should be taken from office for obstruction of justice," chimed in another man. "A federal law should be passed to make this a prison sentence."
Others supported Malloy.
"I think it's a message that leaders need to communicate," Stamford Superintendent Earl Kim said. "It's a stand that they take whether popular or not. I think as much as it is a legal document, it's also a moral statement for the people of Connecticut. It's a symbolic thing, but it's important for people to hear."
"The message is loud and clear, the state of Connecticut will not allow the Trump administration's racist and xenophobic actions to destroy our community," added Ana Maria Rivera-Forastieri, director of advocacy at Junta for Progressive Action.