Illegal Immigration Still on Governor’s List of Priorities for 2011
Patch spoke with Gov. McDonnell in Richmond on Friday before the General Assembly.
Prince William County’s illegal immigration policy has been in the spotlight ever since it was implemented in 2007.
As it stands now, the policy allows trained police officers to check the immigration status of any person held in physical custody. On the local level, Chairman At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Corey Stewart, has expressed interest in seeing the policy go statewide.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said he supports legislation to have illegal aliens face tougher penalties. McDonnell said he was awaiting the approval of the 287(g) status in the Commonwealth, which deputizes local law enforcement to act as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s website, 287(g) is a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act that, “allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The state or local entity receives delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.”
Currently, the Herndon, Loudoun, Manassas and Prince William county police departments in Virginia have adopted such a memorandum of agreement.
“I feel strongly that they [illegal immigrants] should be detained and deported. We have asked at the state level for the federal government to grant us more authority to police up illegal immigration in Virginia under 287 (g),” said McDonnell in an interview with Patch editors on Friday.
McDonnell said he wants local law enforcement agents trained under 287(g) to supplement the staff of the federal government to investigate criminal acts related to illegal to immigration.
“Compared to some other states, Virginia has some pretty tough laws for illegal immigration,” McDonnell said.