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In the interview, he said that ICE’s enforcement activity had created real fear in Connecticut, “a place where people used to not have to worry, always be looking over their shoulder.” If he were elected, “it’s not going to be that way” any longer, said Smith, who supports Connecticut’s status as a sanctuary state.The biggest applause of the night went to Kevin Lembo, the state comptroller.“The state does not set immigration policy,” she said.“I wish I had a magic bullet.” Kindall said the resources of the attorney general’s office could be best used by defending sanctuary cities from retaliation and by looking into funding public defenders in immigration court, if they could get insurance.All those aiming for the governor’s mansion expressed a willingness to revisit the Connecticut Trust Act, which prohibits state law enforcement from coordinating with federal immigration agents — with seven broad exceptions, like if the target has had a felony conviction, been identified as a gang member or terrorist, or appeared to be an “unacceptable risk to public safety.” Advocates, like the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance’s Alok Bhatt, argue that loopholes are leading to courthouse arrests.Sean Connolly was the only one who hesitated, saying it didn’t fit with his “style [of] collaboration” to get into a dispute with the feds.
These so called Hispanic Caucus leaders are just too tied to the trough to demand anything more, least they upset the applecart.Guy Smith, former CEO of Americares and a liquor distribution company, said he’d stand up to the Trump administration, whose enforcement actions he called “unconscionable.”“In my administration,” he said, “we’re going to have serious diversity and serious candidates from your community, and I will protect every citizen in Connecticut from you-know-who in Washington.” The line implied non-citizens wouldn’t get the same protections, earning a tepid response from the audience, at best.Although he used similar language about protecting “citizens” when chatting with the Independent, Smith may have misspoken.Sean Connolly, the former state commissioner of veteran services, said that newcomers today should have the same opportunity that his Irish grandparents found in Connecticut.“My father came 52 years ago to our great state, bought and operated his own landscaping business and had his career in Connecticut, I’m running because too many people I’ve encountered said those opportunities don’t exist here in Connecticut anymore.We need to ensure and expand that opportunity: a fair shot for everybody, no matter who you are.”He closed with a sentence in Spanish that earned cheers: “” Translation: They are with me. Susan Bysiewicz, who’d just officially declared her entry in the gubernatorial race, said she has worked hard to diversify state boards and commissions when she served as secretary of the state.“” she declared, mistaking the verb’s conjugation. ”Bysiewicz said she planned to elevate the need for more federal funding for the cities that have taken in Puerto Rican evacuees — a bipartisan effort that would require getting Connecticut’s elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, to pressure the White House.
He originally launched an effort to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination this year, then surprised everyone when he dropped out, citing personal reasons. In the attorney general race, Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor, and Clare Kindall, a former assistant attorney general, described different approaches to how they’d respond to Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.