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Update: Del. Marshall asks McDonnell for 'executive order' on immigration

Anita Kumar

Del. Bob Marshall, one of the legislature's most conservative members, has sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) asking him to write an "executive order" that codifies language outlined in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion that authorizes police to check the immigration status of individuals when they make stops. (Read today's story about the opinion here.)

"I request that you direct all appropriate law enforcement officers of the Commonwealth to implement the policies referenced above as authorized and permitted by the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions,'' Marshall wrote in his letter e-mailed to the governor's office late Monday night.

Marshall said in an interview that he is modeling his request to McDonnell after a similar 2008 executive order by Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri (R) that calls for law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of all non-citizens taken into custody, incarcerated or under investigation for any crime.

An executive order has the force of law. Here are the orders McDonnell has issued so far.

But critics of Marshall's proposal say Rhode Island law differs greatly from Virginia law and a proposal like that won't work in the commonwealth.

Update, 12:30 p.m. McDonnell's office is pushing back on the notion that Marshall is asking for an executive order. But Marshall said in an interview that that is what he is asking for.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the governor had not seen Marshall's letter and is reviewing Cuccinelli's opinion.

"It does appear to build upon an earlier opinion he issued while serving as attorney general in 2007,'' Martin said. "That opinion detailed how local and state law enforcement officials can work in cooperation with federal authorities to ensure the criminal immigration laws of this nation are upheld and enforced."

Cuccinelli issued an opinion Monday that authorizes police to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for another reason. The opinion does not require police to act, but those on both sides of the decision believe it provides them with the authority to begin checking the status of immigrants immediately.

A 2008 Virginia law requires that jail officials check the immigration status of everyone who has been arrested and taken into custody. Cuccinelli's opinion could expand that to include everyone who is arrested, whether or not they are jailed, and everyone who is stopped, including those pulled over for a traffic violation or at a police checkpoint.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 3, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Corey Stewart , Immigration , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Next: UPDATED: Cuccinelli becomes Fox News' go-to attorney general


The timing on this couldn't be better for Cuccinelli. After the horrific death of the nun yesterday, emotions are running high.

Posted by: Redial1 | August 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

There's a huge difference between what the government can do in a "stop" situation vs what can be done after an "arrest". To borrow a Tea-bagger phrase - it would be TYRRANY for the VA governor to remove the distinctions - especially if it was done via a unilateral executive order.

Posted by: hohandy1 | August 3, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

So police would do a license/registration/insurance check stop of all traffic and when there is one of those is missing, do the illegal check... that would seem to make the local jurisdiction less likely to have problems with illegals. Who has to make the decision to do this, the police chief?

Posted by: BruceFairfax | August 3, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

why don't they just make sure business's check immigration status of their employees and fine/arrest those who don't.

the workplace should be the frontline in the war against illegal immigration. its those workers taking american jobs that are doing the damage.
while criminal illegal aliens grab headlines, its the millions of undocumented workers that are the real threat to america.

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

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