State Rep. Jodi Newell (D-Keene) acknowledged during a House committee hearing Monday that her community of Keene has adopted a resolution discouraging local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration agencies. But she says the entire issue of illegal immigration is overblown.

“We are being ginned up to be concerned about one or two mass murderers,” Newell said, “and so I think this is unnecessary and harmful.”

Newell’s comment sparked a response from House Republicans horrified by her sentiment.

“‘One or two mass murderers?’ Absolutely mind-boggling,” said Rep. Fred Doucette (R-Salem). “It’s hard to believe the extent of denial from Democrats.”

Fellow Salem Republican Rep. Joe Sweeney was also taken aback.

“One mass murderer is too many,” Sweeney said. “Liberals handcuffing our local law enforcement from keeping our communities safe is just doing the cartel’s work for them, and they should all be ashamed.”

The Keene Democrat is a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which was considering a bill banning Granite State communities from adopting sanctuary city policies like those in the Keene Welcoming Community resolution adopted by the city council.

Newell’s dismissal of concerns about “one or two mass murderers” is apparently a reference to Antonio Jose De Abreu Vidal Filho, who was convicted of 11 murders in Brazil and sentenced to 275 years. The convicted mass murderer was arrested last August in the seacoast community of Rye, N.H.

But that’s hardly the only high-profile crime involving illegal immigrants making headlines in New Hampshire.

In January, a Massachusetts judge released an illegal immigrant from Haiti charged with raping a developmentally-disabled victim under the state’s sanctuary policies of refusing to honor federal immigration detainer requests.

In March, another Haitian migrant was arrested for the rape of a disabled 15-year-old girl in Rockland, Mass., That suspect turned out to have been flown to the U.S. by the Biden administration as part of its parole program, and he was housed in a taxpayer-funded shelter operated by Democrat Gov. Maura Healey’s administration.

When asked about the crime, Healey—a longtime supporter of sanctuary city policies—commented in a way that echoed Rep. Newell’s sentiment.

“From time to time, things will happen.”

And then there is the case of Laken Riley, the 22-year-old Georgia nursing student whose murder made national headlines when the suspect arrested for the crime turned out to be an illegal immigrant who had been previously arrested for crimes in two other jurisdictions.

Granite State Democrats have consistently rejected efforts to increase immigration enforcement during the 2024 campaign season, and that didn’t change on Monday. Despite three years of record-setting illegal or undocumented border crossings—including a 550 percent surge in the border patrol sector that includes New Hampshire—Rep. David Meuse also mocked the notion that border security is a Granite State problem.

“One of the things we always have to ask ourselves as legislators is… what’s the problem that we’re trying to solve? And I think the problem that we’re trying to solve with this particular bill is that Fox News has nonstop 24/7 coverage of the southern border crisis and that we would kind of like to have our own little piece of it here in New Hampshire.”

Committee Chair Rep. Terry Roy (R-Deerfield) pushed back, saying the problem isn’t just in Mexico, it’s in Massachusetts.

“We share a southern border with a state that advertised itself as a sanctuary state, and they have actually screamed out for help because they’ve overwhelmed themselves with the number of undocumented immigrants,” Roy said.

According to a news report from The Boston Globe, “Massachusetts will spend about $932 million on emergency shelters for homeless families this fiscal year,” costs directly related to the surge of undocumented migrants. And, the Globe reports, Beacon Hill is looking at another $900 million for the next fiscal year beginning in July.

“Democrats want to turn the Granite State into Massachusetts, that’s undeniable,” Doucette said.