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Prince William chairman says Virginia should follow Arizona on immigration

Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart is calling on Virginia legislators to follow in Arizona's footsteps and pass a law to crack down on illegal immigration throughout the Commonwealth.

Dubbing it the "Virginia Rule of Law Campaign," Stewart said he will spend the rest of the year lobbying the General Assembly to pass legislation that enhances police officials' power to capture, detain and deport illegal aliens; outlaws illegal day laboring; and creates specific Virginia penalties for illegal immigrants.

"We need to bring the rule of law to all of Virginia," Stewart said. "As long as the federal government shows no interest in securing the border and no interest in internal enforcement to promote self-deportation, then states and localities will have to pick up the slack."

Stewart said he is still working on a final draft of his legislation plan, but he wants it to direct Virginia law enforcement officials to ascertain, in any lawful contact, the legal status of an individual. Another key point for the bill, he said, would be to prohibit jurisdictions from calling themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

"I'm doing this now as this will be the last General Assembly session before the 2011 elections," Stewart said, noting he is still trying to find legislators to introduce his bill. "My intention is to use the election to pressure the General Assembly into action."

Prince William has received national attention for its crackdown on illegal immigration. The county's law, which was passed in 2007 and modified in 2008, requires that police officers inquire into the immigration status of all people who are arrested on suspicion of violating a state or local law.

"This would go further than what Prince William did in 2007 and follow in the footsteps of what Arizona did," Stewart said. "There is now a state model to follow. The iron is hot. The vast majority of the population support the law, and I'm confident a large majority of Virginians would support similar legislation."

The widely criticized Arizona law, signed in April, allows police wide latitude to check the residency status of anyone who they have "reasonable suspicion" is an illegal immigrant.

Stewart said the county's law was a success -- that illegal immigrants fled and that overall crime dropped to a 15-year low in 2009. The county's 2009 crime report said that of the roughly 2,000 people arrested last year in connection with major crimes, 121 were determined to be illegal immigrants. Of the 12,254 people arrested for other offenses, including drunken driving, prostitution and fraud, 774 lacked legal status. A more comprehensive illegal immigration report on the county's efforts is due out this year.

Stewart has created a Facebook page called The Virginia Rule of Law Campaign, which now has more than 60 supporters. He has also started an online petition for supporters to sign.

"I'm doing this as a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a father and a husband," he said. "I look forward to working with a lot of leaders from around Virginia ... to get this done."
-Jennifer Buske

By Jennifer Buske  |  June 17, 2010; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Debates , Prince William  
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Comments

STOP THE IRATE COMMENTARY AND DO SOMETHING

If you want to stop 20 to 30 illegal immigrant invasion, it's overpopulation potential and reduce the amount of money stolen from your pay check to pay for their welfare, education, health treatment join the growing numbers of NUMBERSUSA. There are billions of dollars going overseas, across the border from those illegally working here--there feeding off us like parasites. Over a million people now realize we must unite to stop this epidemic--JOIN NUMBERSUSA--as a silent activist and remain anonymous, where radical open border zealots cannot torment you with racist slurs.

Many Americans and legal residents stay in the shadows because of the chance of being verbally or even physically attacked. Have a voice in this travesty of our immigration laws. Learn the poor immigration grades of pro-amnesty politicians and eject them from office. Numbersusa is building an army of anti-illegal immigration advocates and we need your vote, to stop this violations of our freedoms, our right. ONE FLAG, ONE LANGUAGE, AND THE US CONSTITUTION. Fight for the Arizona policing law and mandate similar for every state in our Union. Why only 1200 troops on our border to defend innocent Americans in fighting the drug cartels and other criminals, but will send 17000 national guard for oil cleanup? Fight back against the Instant Citizenship "Anchor Baby" law which has been misinterpreted?

Posted by: infinity555 | June 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I laud your efforts on this Chairman Stewart, but as a result of these efforts, know this: attempts will be made to make you appear as a racist. Groups like "La Raza" and the SEIU will threaten, and impose, boycotts against Prince William County (and probably all of Virginia). The cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, et al, will ban all city employee travel to Prince William County. But also know this: you will probably be re-elected, and have the support of the majority of voters in the county, state and nation.

Posted by: ANCLvr | June 17, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The pro illegal immigration media are desparately trying to protray the AZ law as being a major subject of controversy with a large number of critics.

The opposite is the case. Around 70% of Americans support the law. Around 20 states have similar bills pending. Over 80% of Americans are against the silly boycotts.

There really is no controvery.

Posted by: Bettybb | June 17, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost more sick of the pro-illegal alien media than I am of the illegals themselves.

There must be something we can do to fight WaPo and their clones. Boycott their advertisers and cancel your subscriptions.

We have a lot more money than the illegals and their enablers.

Posted by: MaryJessel | June 17, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please follow Arizona's lead:

Let white surpremacist organizations write anti-immigrant legislation.

Let Virginia have a new disgrace to challenge Cuccinelli.

Let Virginia turn into a police state.

Honestly the GOP has become the Know-Nothing Party.

Posted by: Liebercreep | June 17, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a great idea! Pass the law and move the illegal aliens to Maryland. Let's see how the holier-than-thou liberals that comprise the County Council and live in Bethesda and Potomac react when illegals are forced to live in their neighborhoods because all the cheap Silver Spring and Wheaton houses are occupied.

Let them vandalize the liberals' cars, stage knife fights in public places, turn neighborhoods into flop-house and drunkard-filled ghettos and see how long it takes before something is finally done.

God knows, if we really want change, gangbangers should be hired to steal from the homes of national media persons who live in DC. They won't get the message until their own lifestyles are threatened.

Posted by: woof3 | June 17, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I dearly hope that someone will beat the life out of Cornhole Stewart & Ken the Kook, alas that'll never happen.

Posted by: Nymous | June 20, 2010 2:49 AM | Report abuse

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