Attorney General McDonnell Calls For State 287(g) Participation

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Good work by the AG, Tom Rust and Jay O'Brien.

Key words you need to remember: HB 2926; SB 1045.

Contact info for your legislators is available here; tell them to vote for those bills!

Full text of announcement below the fold ...

McDonnell Calls for Immigration Enforcement Authority for State and Local Police

-Legislation Carried By Delegate Tom Rust, Senator Jay O'Brien-

-Letter to Governor Kaine Attached to Release-

RICHMOND - Attorney General Bob McDonnell today announced his support for legislation to clarify that Virginia localities can enforce federal immigration laws with the approval of The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Attorney General also urged Governor Kaine to reconsider his decision to not permit the state at this time to enter into an agreement with ICE to have Virginia State Police enforce those federal immigration laws in the course of enforcing certain state violent crime laws. McDonnell made the announcement at a morning press conference with Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon) and Senator Jay O'Brien (R-Clifton). Rust will carry the legislation in the House of Delegates as House Bill 2926; Senator O'Brien will carry the legislation in the Senate as SB 1045.

Speaking about the announcement Attorney General McDonnell noted, "While major policy decisions to control illegal immigration are a federal issue, the states do not have to wait for federal action to take certain steps. Illegal immigrants who commit crimes hurt Virginians directly and therefore it is a Virginia issue requiring Virginia action. I fully support allowing the State Police, DMV, DOC and localities to enter into agreements with ICE to enforce violations of federal immigration laws pursuant to a state criminal law investigation at the state and local level. Our outstanding law enforcement officers already routinely make contact with such individuals but have no power to detain them for immigration offenses."

McDonnell continued remarking, "Today I call on Governor Kaine to reconsider his decision to decline to enter into these agreements at this time. I respect the Governor's right to this decision, but I strongly believe this action should be taken. For that reason I believe we must move forward with legislation this session." McDonnell added, "As the grandson of immigrants to these shores I know that legal, organized immigration is vital to the welfare and prosperity of this nation. However, ignoring the problems associated with illegal immigrants involved in criminal activity undermines our nation’s security, the rule of law, and threatens public safety. As Attorney General I cannot ignore the public safety issues surrounding illegal immigration in the Commonwealth."

Senator Jay O'Brien stated, "This is important legislation that will clarify that local law enforcement can enforce immigration laws should the agency choose to do so. Crimes committed by illegal immigrants are a growing problem in Virginia and it is time we allow our law enforcement agencies to do something about it."

Delegate Tom Rust voiced his support, stating "Virginia residents are tired of being told that illegal immigration is only a federal matter and there is nothing that can be done on the state and local level. That is not true, there are steps we can take to combat illegal immigration and crime and this is an important one."

Recent data demonstrates a strong correlation between illegal immigrants and crime. According to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about 80,000 illegal immigrants have been convicted of felonies, served prison time, and been deported, yet are back in the United States illegally. In the City of Los Angeles alone more than 90% of outstanding homicide warrants and 65% of the city’s fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens. The inability of law enforcement to enforce immigration laws threatens law-abiding citizens and contributes to this growing problem.

Virginia localities are increasingly voicing their support for this authority. Herndon, Manassas, and Prince William have all recently inquired with ICE about the granting of immigration enforcement authority for their police officers. This bill will clarify that localities are within their rights to do so. In the case of authority for state agencies the Governor must authorize an agreement. Local and state law enforcement agencies in North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, and California are now participating in this immigration enforcement partnership with ICE.


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GOPJeff said:

It is good to see the AG McDonnell and LG Bolling are focusing on the issue of illegal immigration. In addition to McDonell's press conference today, Bolling included two immigration bills in 2007 Legislative Agenda, which was released yesterday:

Local Immigration Enforcement - Frederick - This legislation would require the Governor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) that would allow the Virginia State Police and local law enforcement agencies to enforce civil immigration laws.

Prohibit In-State Tuition to Illegals - Reid - This legislation would prohibit persons who are in Virginia illegally from paying in-state tuition at Virginia's colleges and universities.

In addition to the enforcement measures, I'm glad to see that Bolling continues to fight to eliminate in state tuition for illegals. This should have been done years ago.

I'd rather see the in state benefit go to Maryland residents than illegal residents. Good points, Jeff.

Had Enough said:

This is misleading. This was presented before in VA, Good ridence Gov Warner did every thing he could to give illegals everything. I believe he only passed one bill against illegals after citizen outrage.

This is also misleading because I read where another VA rep has introduced a bill that would allow illegals In-State Tuition if they were REARED and already went to school in VA.

It was in a small paper in the county and I have been trying to locate his name and the bill#.

I am only familiar with Albo, Fredericks, Goode and Joann Davis because they are the only ones that have have worked overtime to cut off illegals and run them out of the state. I truly do not trust most of the others who are ALL OF A SUDDEN joining the others. Two of them are hispanic.

Read the fine print, it is not straight forward cut and dry as they may make it appear.

Had Enough said:

To clarify Albo and Fredericks are hispanic.

Jack said:

Many hispanics oppose illegal immigration, too.

ICE MAN said:

The AG gave good credit to Delegate Jackson Miller for his efforts to implement ICE training in Manassas and Manassas Park.

With All Due Respect... said:

With all due respect to GOP Jeff, it appears Bill Bolling is once again talking about issues he doesn’t understand. Jeff Frederick’s bill “Requires” the state to enter into agreements with ICE, which the Attorney General explained cannot be done. Only the Governor can enter into such an agreement, that is why the Attorney General has been lobbying him for 6 months and held yesterday’s press conference to bring attention to the matter. It’s a little embarrassing that Bill Bolling just picks bills to support that he doesn’t understand, and don’t help accomplish anything. Too often with Bolling, its all style and rhetoric, no substance and record. I hope folks aren’t falling for his lame attempts to “Johnny-come-lately” every issue.

Sophrosyne said:

With All Due Respect... come on. Were you around in 2005 when Bolling's major TV ad buy focused on illegal immigration (when others were still afraid to talk about the issue). Bolling has long been addressing this issue. We're lucky to have both Bolling and McDonnell pushing to address illegal immigration. Let's keep the debate honest and avoid falling into hollow 2009 rhetoric.

With All Due Respect said:

One more thing.... on the education bill Bolling “supports," once again McDonnell has already done something real on the issue. He released this opinion:, in June that shuts down the whole issue by noting you can’t give in-state to illegal aliens unless you give in-state to every student in the country! This means Virginia schools will never give in-state to illegal aliens, they can’t afford it. Once again, McDonnell does the hard work and actually solves an issue, and then Bolling just comes running in late with no clue what he is talking about. Come down to Richmond sometime, Bolling isn’t getting many points for his transparently empty gestures. There is a real difference between McDonnell and Bolling, GOP Jeff’s post demonstrates it perfectly.

Fenian said:

hey guys, no need to argue about the AG and the Lt. Gov. They are on the same side of this issue. Also, who cares if someone is just recently jumping on the bandwagon, thats good also. Lets save the attacks for the apologists like Kaine who dont want to do anything.

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