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."
June 4, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races
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