Policy would have harmed immigrant communities and been a massive expansion of policing and government surveillance

CONCORD, N.H. - The ACLU of New Hampshire today released a statement following the New Hampshire House of Representatives 241-143 vote on an amendment (#2023-1299h) to remove a $1.4 million proposal from the budget. The proposal from Governor Sununu was in response, he and state officials say, to an increase in unauthorized border crossings–data which the state has been unable to provide for the New Hampshire-Canada border. The funding proposal is part of a broader effort to deputize local, county, and state law enforcement to conduct federal border enforcement along New Hampshire’s 58-mile northern border.

Frank Knaack, Policy Director at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “This dangerous proposal would have harmed immigrant communities and led to a massive expansion of policing and surveillance in New Hampshire–and we commend state representatives for voting against it today. Governor Sununu’s office and the Department of Safety have provided no evidence that unauthorized crossings or apprehensions are happening in the Granite State, let alone increasing. Policies like this have been shown in study after study to have negative impacts on public safety, and Granite Staters deserve legislation that addresses real problems in our communities.”

On April 4, 2023, the ACLU of New Hampshire released right-to-know requests it filed with Governor Sununu’s Office and the N.H. Department of Safety, which found that neither office could provide any data to support claims of increased unauthorized border crossings along New Hampshire’s northern border.