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McDonnell no longer concerned about Arizona immigration law

Anita Kumar

Whatever misgivings Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) may have had about Arizona's tough immigration law he seems to have gotten over them.

On his monthly call-in show Thursday on WRVA in Richmond, McDonnell told listeners that not only does he understand why lawmakers in Arizona passed their bill, but that many of the same provisions have already been enacted in Virginia.

"We've taken a lot of steps, frankly since 9/ enact significant driver's license reform, to significantly crack down on criminal immigrants so that we have a no-bond presumption for people that are illegally present,'' he said. "We are actually checking the status of a person accused of a crime at the time of a offense. A good deal of those things are already in Virginia law. I'm a strong supporter of promoting the rule of law."

In April, McDonnell said on the radio that parts of the Arizona bill concerned him. "I'm concerned about the whole idea of carrying papers and always having to be able to prove your citizenship,'' he said at the time. "That brings up some shades of some other regimes that weren't necessarily helpful to democracy.

But Thursday McDonnell spoke in great detail about his support of the "rule of law."

McDonnell repeatedly blamed the federal government for failing to deal with immigration, and said he had encouraged the federal government to invest more resources in immigration and customs agents when he was attorney general.

"There's been paralysis at the federal level for years and years that is unacceptable. In my view that is why there is such great frustration in Arizona, a border state that has got such tremendous problems with criminal illegal aliens and why they passed the law that they have,'' he said.

"Until the federal government comes up with a comprehensive solution to secure the border, to provide more enforcement and resources with ICE, particularly with criminal illegal aliens, and addresses the question with what you do with those that are illegally present currently, we're still going to still have the same predicament."

By Anita Kumar  |  June 24, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Immigration , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Well, don't have to worry about it because it will be struck down from the courts. Let's see activist judges now. I see if they will uphold the law and strike down this Germanian law. see why its unconstitutional.

Posted by: republicanblack | June 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

For once, I actually agree with McDonnell. AZ has HUGE problems with illegal immigrants. The feds are no help. It's almost as if it's every state for itself. I agree with AZ's law and hope it passes the courts' tests. A hard line needs to be drawn on this matter, and these illegals need to understand that the US is not a free for all.

Posted by: ms1234 | June 24, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

all you have to do is fine the employers who hire them and then the jobs will dry up and so will the flow of immigrants.
all the laws in the world wont stop it, you need to enforce the ones we already have.
too bad virginia's attorney general is too busy showboating to the religious right to do the job he was hired to do.

Posted by: MarilynManson | June 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to assume that the Arizona law will be declared unconstitutional. To this I say maybe. If one looks at Muehler v Mena from 2005 or DeCanas v Bica from 1975, the people who drafted the Arizona law wrote it with these and other Supreme Court decisions in mind. Simply put, they crafted their statute around existing Supreme Court decisions which will make it hard but not impossible for the court to rule against it. If this law is upheld, one can forget about legislative answers to immigration, but the whole immigration area will be decided in the courts. Please remember that Flores has still not be fully resolved, Prop 187 from California has never been fully litigated, there is a potential challenge to Plyler out there, and finally one hears that the whole question of birth right citizenship is about to the litigated. The reason the Justice Department has been so slow in taking the Arizona law to court is they are as aware as I am that they might well lose and they see the same consequences as I see down the road. Whatever one does or does not think about the Arizona law, this is the reality of the situation.

Posted by: jeffreed | June 24, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If the immigration laws in this country were actually enforced, AZ would not have needed this "new" law. What part of"illegal' do we not understand? How many Americans will need to be unemployed or under employed, because they are replaced by illegals who will do their jobs cheaper, before the laws of the land are actually enforced?

Posted by: lsf07 | June 24, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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