Media Contact

Ari Schechter,

June 8, 2023

Calls out harmful border budget vote; commends immigration checkpoint and prison funding reduction vote

CONCORD, N.H. - The ACLU of New Hampshire today released the following statement following the New Hampshire Senate and House passage of the budget, which now heads to Governor Sununu’s desk. 

Frank Knaack, Policy Director at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said:

“It is unacceptable that our lawmakers have passed a $1.4 million proposal in the budget to increase policing and surveillance near the northern border, and did so despite having no data to support the claims that people are crossing the border without authorization. Worse, policies like this have been shown in study after study to actually make our communities less safe. 

“We thank lawmakers for supporting a long sought law to require the advance public notice of federal immigration checkpoints being conducted in New Hampshire. While these checkpoints have been sold to the public as focused on immigration enforcement, history has taught us what this is really about – using immigration as an excuse to circumvent the NH Constitution and go after Granite Staters for low-level drug possession. This is a victory: public notice will help minimize the intrusion and negative impact checkpoints have on New Hampshire drivers.

“We also thank lawmakers for rolling back the funding for prison expansion–which is not a solution to the current, acute conditions crisis residents face. New Hampshire must not allow the current crisis to serve as justification for the construction of a possibly half-a-billion-dollar facility without a clear understanding of the future of incarceration in our state, including how we can continue to reduce our need for incarceration while strengthening community safety.”

An ACLU-NH fact sheet on these budget components, with section numbers, can be found here.