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Herrity, Fimian enter Centreville day-laborer debate

The two Republican primary candidates in Virginia's 11th Congressional District have waded into the debate over an immigrant day-laborer work center in Centreville, with both publicly opposing the plan.

Keith Fimian, an Oakton businessman seeking a second chance to unseat U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), issued a statement Thursday after Northern Virginia developer Albert J. Dwoskin proceeded with plans to build a day-laborer site on his Centreville Square Shopping Center property.

"With plans for a day-labor center moving forward, I join with Centreville residents and business owners in opposition," Fimian said in a statement. "As well-intentioned as proponents of this project may be, it sends entirely the wrong message to people who have, in many cases, broken our laws to be here, and invites a host of problems including increased potential for crime in the area."

Fimian also used the issue to once again attack Connolly on immigration, as well as his opponent, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, saying the Springfield Republican "had not made his position on this issue publicly known." He also referred to a quote Herrity gave the Washington Examiner in November 2008 in which he referred to some of Prince William County's immigration enforcement efforts as "mean-spirited."

"Despite having referred to Prince William County's efforts to enforce immigration laws as 'mean-spirited' in the past, I hope Supervisor Herrity will make his position known and do everything he can to stop this day-laborer center," Fimian said.

Herrity, too, has publicly opposed Dwoskin's work center plan, and reiterated his opposition Thursday.

"Will they be checking I-9's? No. They won't be checking that these men are working legally so, no, it won't work," he said.

Herrity also said his 2008 "mean-spirited" quote was referencing a "perception that Prince William was attacking immigrants period and not making a distinction between illegal and legal."

"We're a country of immigrants, but I have taken the lead in pushing Fairfax to deport our criminal illegal immigrants and enforce our laws," he said. "That's where I stand."

The two face off June 8 in the Republican primary.

Fimian's full statement is below.

Keith Fimian, Republican candidate for Congress (VA-11) issued the following statement today regarding the proposed day-laborer site in Centreville:


"With plans for a day-labor center moving forward, I join with Centreville residents and business owners in opposition. As well intentioned as proponents of this project may be, it sends entirely to the wrong message to people who have, in many cases, broken our laws to be here and invites a host of problems including increased potential for crime in the area."

"If the federal government would just do its job, states, localities and well intentioned citizens would not be left with the responsibility of figuring out what to do with illegal immigrants. The rule of law is a fundamental underpinning of our way of life and our system of government. Unfortunately most of the career politicians in Washington love to write new laws, but lack the resolve or good judgment, or both, to enforce existing ones."

"There are a lot of commonsense steps we can take to address this problem, including securing our borders by whatever means necessary and having police check the immigration status of anyone arrested for committing a crime. Above all, we must make sure career politicians like Gerry Connolly, who are eager for millions of new voters, are not successful in their efforts to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants whose very first action was breaking the law to enter our nation."

"If Connolly's record as a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is any indication, he will enthusiastically support amnesty. During Connolly's tenure on the Board, the Associated Press reported that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors dedicated $400,000 'to establish three facilities that serve as gathering places for illegal immigrants to offer their services' at a time budget deficits were soaring. County supervisors have been raising property taxes ever since to pay for this type of reckless spending. Even worse, back in 2007 Connolly told the Washington Post that 'under no circumstances' should police check the immigration status of someone suspected of a crime.'"

"We need to prevent the establishment of a day-laborer center in Centreville and defeat career politicians like Gerry Connolly who aid and abet law breaking. Supervisor Herrity has not made his position on this issue publicly known. Despite having referred to Prince William County's efforts to enforce immigration laws as 'mean-spirited' in the past, I hope Supervisor Herrity will make his position known and do everything he can to stop this day-laborer center."

By Derek Kravitz  |  June 4, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races  
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Comments

What a shock...a Republican playing politics with the immigration issue...I'm stunned. It's always easy to bash immigrants when you want to score political points. Since the Day Labor center would be on private property and violating no zoning laws, and since it would be staffed and funded by private citizens...and most importantly since it isn't even in the district Mr. Fimian wishes to represent...perhaps he should just keep his nose out of it and attend to the wishes of the constituents in his own district. And while he's at it perhaps he could persuade his fellow "Party of No" members to stop playing politics with the issue and help President Obama pass a comprehensive immigration law...

Posted by: sonofkenny1 | June 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Fimian is the only true conservative in this primary. Herrity is a Tom Davis look alike who will always go along to get along, even if that means voting to raise taxes. Of course the day laborer center would not be breaking any laws, LOL that is assuming that you do not consider US immigration laws to be legitimate. Perhaps Mr. Dwoskin should add a second trailer for hookers and a third for drug dealers, they too would encourage illegal commerce, what difference does it make if it is on private property.

Posted by: fairfaxgoper | June 7, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to a conservative to equate trying to work to feed yourself and your family to drug dealers and hookers! Pathetic...but typical!

It is not up to private citizens to determine the immigration status of those looking for work...and local governments have neither the resources or legal authority to enforce immigration law. It is up to employers to comply with documentation requirements, and the federal government to enforce immigration law. It is up to local government to make sure local businesses have an environment conducive to the success of their enterprise. This center will do just that.

Not a single one of the day laborers has been charged or convicted of a crime related to their status. And they are no more likely to commit other types of crime than anyone else. The crime rate in that area has not risen since the laborers started gathering there.

Looking for work is not illegal. And unless you have some magical telepathic power no one else does, you have no idea how many of the laborers are undocumented and how many are not. They are brown, and standing on a street corner looking for work so they must be illegal...another attitude typical of today's "conservatives".

I live in the area and have a business there. Many of the laborers have come into our business looking for work, the majority of whom do have paperwork showing they are here legally. However, whether a worker is undocumented or not, they are still human beings who find themselves in an often very difficult position, simply trying to scrape by. And until they have been charged with some offense it is not up to local citizens to punish them for crimes they have not been convicted of.

Fimian and Herrity are right wing hacks tossing red meat to their mindless conservative base. Like most Republicans they have little interest in actually solving the immigration issue...not when it is such a great political issue!!! It's alot easier to bash the immigrant worker than the Republican supporting businesses, large and small, that expolit them in their home countries and employ them here....

Posted by: sonofkenny1 | June 9, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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