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Bipartisan support for Va. troopers to enforce immigration laws

Anita Kumar

Three Virginia congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), are urging Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to grant Gov. Robert McDonnell's request to allow state troopers to act as immigration and customs agents.

In a letter to Napolitano dated Wednesday, Republicans Frank Wolf and Rob Wittman and Connolly, who has pushed to fund the so-called 287g program in Congress, wrote of their support: "This proposed partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the Commonwealth of Virginia will improve information sharing, leverage federal and state resources, and above all, contribute to improved public safety."

McDonnell has spent months trying to reach an agreement with the federal government to train and deputize troopers to make legal status checks and refer individuals for deportation. The superintendent of the Virginia State Police, the Virginia secretary of public safety and McDonnell's chief of staff have met with federal officials. Last week, McDonnell sent a formal letter to Napolitano.

McDonnell, a former state attorney general, helped several localities, including Prince William County, enter into similar agreements. He also repeatedly pressed former governor Tim Kaine (D) to ask the Bush administration to enter into agreement with Virginia, but Kaine refused -- saying immigration should be addressed by the federal government.

The Obama administration has declined in the past to issue 287g agreements to some states. "The Obama administration has a very different view from the Bush administration,'' McDonnell said recently.

Richard Rocha, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has said he could not comment on pending applications.

Twenty-six states, including Maryland and Arizona, and nine local law enforcement agencies in Virginia, including in Herndon and in Prince William and Loudoun counties, have the 287g status that deputizes local law enforcement.

The Virginia State Police has 1,800 sworn agents. It's unclear how many would be deputized for immigration work.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 18, 2010; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Frank R. Wolf , Gerald E. Connolly , Rob Wittman , Robert F. McDonnell , Timothy M. Kaine  
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what idiots!
the place to perform immigration status checks is in the workplace.

it's in the workplace where illegal immigrants are stealing millions of jobs from American citizens.

We don't have the jail space to house all the illegal immigrants in this country, nor would we want to spend the billions of dollars that would cost, nor should we inflict the pain of incarceration on all those people who simply want a job (but in someone elses country).

Instead, we need to go after employers who hire the illegals and fine or jail THEM.

Lets get to the root of the problem, and do it in a way that won't cost taxpayers.

Fine the employers!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 19, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

MarilynManson hit the issue on the head. If you target where the illegals work, you'll solve this problem. Because an illegal without a job is an illegal that won't last long in America.

Fire Employers such a step fine for employing illegals, that doing so isn't worth the financial impact to their business. I'd say, charge a fine of 5/years wages at min.wage (40hr weeks) for each illegal found to be employed at a business. Trust me, it won't be long until employers stop hiring illegals because it risks the demise of their business.

Posted by: AlbyVA | August 19, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Gerry Connolly rides both sides of an issue again! From reading this story, one might get the impression that Liberal Connolly is in favor of enforcing immigration laws in Fairfax County, no not really, this is the same Connolly who has not come out against the proposed migrant job center in Centreville, to be built near the county library where a little girl was molested by an illegal several years ago, AND, this is the same Connolly who this summer had one of his fundraisers at AJ Dwoskin's house, surprise! Dwoskin is the same guy who own's the shopping center in Centreville where he, Dwoskin want to put the trailer so illegals can find work, small world isn't it? Don't Be Fooled by Gerry Connolly's rhetoric, even if you are a Democrat. There is still time to become educated on the issues.

Posted by: fairfaxgoper | August 19, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A stiff fine for the employers of illegals is in order-make it a mandatory fine. And deport the illegals ASAP. If they need to be here for due process the AZ sheriff has the right idea-house them in tents in the desert!

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Alby, and i think you are missing the point 10bestfan.
even if we house them in tents, it will cost a lot of money to detain and process enough illegal aliens to make any difference.

if we fine/arrest those employers who keep hiring them, the illegal aliens will lose their reason for staying here and will deport themselves, at THEIR cost.

Have random traffic stops won the war on drugs? Hell no. Neither will they stop illegal immigration.
They just waste our limited law enforement resources.

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Right on MM!

All you have to do is roll to ANY contruction site to look for illegals of all nationality, especially at the Pentagon of all places!! The problem is, 95% of people in a certain party makes the whole immigration argument racist because they are primarily targeting Hispanics while the asian, european, african and canadian (yes canadians too!!) go unchecked. And until some of you idiots realize this, the "problem" will never be fixed!

Posted by: usc932000 | August 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

You are absolutely right, YOU need to educate yourself in the real cause of illigal immigration.

Posted by: rabanito | August 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This is a good idea. We need this. We have to stop illegal immigration once and for all. We cannot continue with this mess. Illegals enter our country without visas or overstay. Therefore, they have to leave now.

Posted by: post2009 | August 19, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

acceptable, as long as they check everybody, not just those who may look mexican, but the euro's too, german, sweds, french....etc

Posted by: weaverf | August 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Workplace enforcement is the only effective means of controlling illegal immigration.

But the real problem is that the Federal Government has a policy of allowing the use of fraudulent documents to obtain employment.

You really can't go after the employers. It's not practical because the employer only is required to collect the right forms and accept whatever documents the applicant presents. The employer isn't even allowed to check to see if the documents are fraudulent. So you can't convict them beyond a reasonable doubt of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant. How are they supposed to know the document is a forgery?

But the Federal Government can identify millions of people working with Social security numbers and other identification that does not match its records. As a matter of sound public administration and good governance, even if there is an innocent explanation, these discrepancies need to be resolved. If this is not done, legal workers may have a very difficult time collecting their Social Security benefits. And there is not legal right to file tax returns and other government documents using a false Social Security number.

If it's an innocent mistake, the matter can be quickly resolved. Otherwise, an illegal immigrant can be identified.

But the Federal Government does not take this simple measure because cleaning up its records and resolving these discrepancies would force the disclosure of millions of illegal immigrants and probably at a minimum cost. It is, in any case, a cost that must be born to run the Social Security system correctly.

Posted by: kevin9 | August 19, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Will someone tell me who are the illegal immigrants are the State Troopers going to pull over?

Posted by: dmgg711 | August 20, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

The only reason we really need the borders patrolled is for the drug cartels. Illegal immigrants are already going back to Mexico or wherever they came from. Not all illegals are Mexicans. Many come from the Philipines, Canada, Nigera, South America, Cuba, Central America, England, Ireland, Australia, Korea, China, Iraq, India, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bosnia and every foreign country you can think of. They overstay their visas and work where legal documentation is not required. You think only Mexicans are illegals? But that's what law enforcement is concentrating on, brown-skinned Hispanics. The rest can stay here without fear of getting caught and being deported. Arizona has a lot of French-Canadians snow-birds who just never went back to Canada but they're safe from Sheriff Arpaio's eagle eyes for Mexicans only.

Posted by: dmgg711 | August 20, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

...And what we'll be left with is racism that clouds our own ability to see the lives of the people being targeted. It's a hard thing to watch Virginia go the way of Arizona.

Posted by: francesewood | August 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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