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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Delegate introduces legislation that could bring Va. immigration reform

By Jennifer Buske

A Prince William County delegate has embraced County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart's push for immigration reform in the commonwealth.

Stewart said Thursday afternoon that Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Pr. William) has introduced legislation that will help crack down on illegal immigration in Virginia. Stewart said Thursday that he was reviewing the bill but that it "looks good."

The bill expands on the state's immigration policy by requiring law enforcement officials to inquire into the immigration status of everyone arrested, whether or not they are taken into custody. Under current Virginia law, sheriffs inquire into a person's legal status when he or she is taken into custody at a jail.

The bill also states that when a warrantless arrest is made and the officer "finds probably cause to believe" that the person is in the United States illegally, he shall tell the judicial officer. If the judicial officer concurs and thinks that person will not appear for a trial or a hearing, the judicial officer may refuse bail.

For the past several months, Stewart has been traveling the commonwealth and asking people to support a statewide immigration policy he has dubbed the "Virginia Rule of Law Campaign."

His most recent stop was Wednesday night at an Alexandria tea party event. The charismatic Republican, who has toyed with running for a U.S. Senate seat in 2012, spoke to about 30 tea party activists about his campaign.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 13, 2011; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  Corey Stewart, General Assembly, Immigration, Jennifer Buske, Prince William  
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