White House fires back at Gov. Malloy over immigration order

Sean Spicer
White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Spicer discussed President Donald Trump's travel ban and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


(WTNH) — On Thursday, the White House had a direct message to Governor Dannel Malloy; follow the law. Malloy and Spicer are butting heads over President Donald Trump‘s immigration policy.

On Wednesday, the Malloy administration sent recommendations to schools and police departments across the state on immigration. The governor’s order also asked schools to create a plan to deny access by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to any students.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded:

“The idea that Governor Malloy would not want the law followed as enacted by Congress or by the Connecticut legislature in any fashion seems to be concerning, right? You, you, whether you’re a governor or a mayor or the president, laws are passed in this country and we expect people and our law-makers and our law enforcement agencies to follow and adhere to the laws.”

The Malloy administration told police and schools, “ICE detainer requests are requests, they are not warrants or orders.” The administration suggested this should only be followed as set forth in Connecticut law.

Malloy recommends local police departments do not take action solely to enforce federal immigration law and do not provide access to people in law enforcement custody for questioning by ICE.

“It’s troubling that that’s the message that he would to his people and to other governors,” said Spicer.

If an ICE agent approaches a school asking for information about a student, Malloy recommends the agent be sent to the superintendent’s office. He also says local police ultimately decide whether and to what extent within the law they help ICE.

“We are obligated to protect the rights afforded to all our residents and ensure that students attend safe, welcoming schools,” said Malloy.

“If you are a sanctuary city, declared or undeclared, if you are providing benefits or services, we are gonna do everything we can to respect tax payers and insure that your states follow the law,” said Spicer.

Malloy’s office released the following statement in response to Spicer:

“We agree with one thing Mr. Spicer said-it is important to adhere to the ‘laws passed by the appropriate level of government.’ However, it would seem that Mr. Spicer and the administration would benefit from a Civics 101 refresher. Not only does the U.S. Constitution provide explicit protections for both individual rights, but it also provides clear guidance on the rights of states-specifically in the tenth amendment.

“And to be clear, we know that the rule of law is important. We also know that it is equally important to know what those laws actually mean.”