Bipartisan support for Va. troopers to enforce immigration laws
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.
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
Save & Share: Previous: Davis, Pickett to lead McDonnell's military commission
Next: Virginia will spend surplus on state employee bonus, roads, bay cleanup
Posted by: MarilynManson | August 19, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AlbyVA | August 19, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fairfaxgoper | August 19, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 10bestfan | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MarilynManson | August 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: usc932000 | August 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rabanito | August 19, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: post2009 | August 19, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: weaverf | August 19, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kevin9 | August 19, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dmgg711 | August 20, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dmgg711 | August 20, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: francesewood | August 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse