Gov. Sununu links Mass. sanctuary cities to drug trade in New Hampshire

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu at the State House in Concord, N.H. in January.
Gov. Chris Sununu at the State House in Concord, N.H. –Charles Krupa/AP

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told Boston Herald Radio Wednesday that “sanctuary city issues” in Massachusetts are impacting his state, linking the policies to the drug trade in his own state.

The Republican governor, who took office in January, singled out Lawrence, Massachusetts in particular.

“You have undocumented drug dealers that are dealing these drugs, they are getting arrested, they are being given bail by judges … they’re jumping bail, getting a new ID and they’re back in that same home dealing drugs a week later,” he said. “It’s an absolutely crazy system.”

According to the Herald, Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera compared the New Hampshire governor’s comments to remarks made last year by Maine Governor Paul LePage.


“I’m a little shocked,” Rivera told the newspaper. “Gov. Sununu comes from a really good family. You think he’d be a little bit smarter than to just go after immigrants and communities.”

Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick issued a statement in response to Sununu’s comments Thursday:

The Lawrence Police Department is an extremely dedicated law enforcement and public safety agency. The drug and opioid epidemic affects every city and town in this country. Here in Lawrence, we work closely — and have worked closely for decades — with our law enforcement partners in major cities across New England, including Boston and Manchester, N.H., to aggressively enforce the drug laws and stem the flow of drugs into communities. This is a national epidemic that requires teamwork and partnership across borders and among municipal, state and federal agencies.

Sununu also claimed that 85 percent of fentanyl in New Hampshire comes from Massachusetts.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office confirmed the claim, telling the Associated Press that the bulk of the heroin and fentanyl being brought into the state is from Lawrence.

The two lawmakers are due to meet Thursday.


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