Friday, August 31, 2007

How many laws does Virginia already have on the books dealing with "illegal aliens"?

The answer is at least these thirty plus, some of which have been on the books for more than 40 years:

1950 -- Mental health department required to determine the nationality of any person admitted to a state facility and to report to immigration anyone determined to be an alien, §37.2-827 of the Code of Virginia;

1950 (last amended in 1994) -- Sheriffs and the department of corrections required to identify criminal aliens in Virginia jails and prisons and report them to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, §53.1-218 of the Code of Virginia;

1950 (last amended 1982) Clerks of court required to furnish court records to ICE regarding any alien committed to a correctional facility after conviction, 53.1-219 of the Code of Virginia;

1950 (as amended in 2006 and 2007) Crime to extort money from aliens by withholding immigration documents or threatening to report them to ICE, §18.2-59 of the Code of Virginia;

1977 -- Crime for employers to knowingly hire illegal aliens (although there is some question now if it is constitutional because of a federal law passed in 1986) §40.1-111 of the Code of Virginia;

1977 – Proof of legal presence required for unemployment compensation benefits, § 60.2-617 of the Code of Virginia;

1985 – Provides for transfer of criminal aliens to federal custody or to be held pending deportation, §53.1-220.1 of the Code of Virginia;

1985 (last amended in 1994) – Probation and parole officers required to ask about citizenship status and report to the State Police anyone who fails to produce evidence of citizenship; State Police required to review arrest reports from law enforcement and reports from probation and parole and report to ICE the identity of all convicted offenders suspected of being illegal aliens, § 19.2-294.2 of the Code of Virginia;

1993 – Aliens (except lawful permanent residents) prohibited from owning, possessing or transporting assault firearms, §18.2-308.2:1 of the Code of Virginia, and dealers prohibited from selling assault firearms to aliens (except lawful permanent residents), §18.2-308.2:2 of the Code of Virginia;

pre-1994 -- Strict domicile requirements for in-state tuition prohibit illegal aliens from qualifying for in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, §23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia;

1995- Aliens (except those lawfully admitted to permanent residency) prohibited from obtaining concealed weapons permits, §18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia;

1996 - English the official language of the Commonwealth, § 1-511 of the Code of Virginia;

2000 – Gun dealers prohibited from hiring illegal aliens to sell firearms, §18.2-308.2:3 of the Code of Virginia;

2003 -- Proof of legal presence required to obtain a Virginia drivers’ license or a state id card, § 46.2-328.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2004 – Persons not lawfully present in the United States prohibited from owning, possessing or transporting any firearm, §18.2-308.2:1 of the Code of Virginia;

2004 - Police officers given authority to arrest without a warrant anyone committing a crime who is an illegal alien previously deported after a felony conviction. § 19.2-81.6 of the Code of Virginia;

2004 – Compensation Board required to maintain records re: citizenship of inmates and to encourage local jails to participate in the USDOJ State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, Appropriations Act of 2004.

2005 -- Proof of legal presence required to obtain state benefits including welfare and Medicaid, §63.2-503.1 and §32.1-325.03 of the Code of Virginia;

2006 – Juvenile justice intake officers required to report to ICE any juvenile charged with a violent juvenile felony being detained in a secure facility who the intake officer has probable cause to believe is not lawfully present, §16.1-309.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2006- Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice required to coordinate with the Dept of Corrections requests for compensation from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program for the costs of incarcerating undocumented aliens, § 66.3.2 of the Code of Virginia;

2006 – Person who threatens to report someone as unlawfully present in order to extort money or pecuniary benefit is guilty of a class 5 felony, §18.2-59iii of the Code of Virginia;

2006 – Person who falsely identifies himself to a law enforcement officer guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor, §19.2-82.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2006 – DMV required to send info it gets on noncitizens to State Board of Elections and State Board directed to remove names from election roles, §24.2-404 and §24.2-410.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2007 (HB 2923) – Establishes the Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking, §30-287 et seq of the Code of Virginia;

2007 (HB 1673) Establishes the Virginia Commission on Immigration, §2.2-2530 et seq of the Code of Virginia;

2007 (HB 1921 and SB 815) – Person who destroys another’s passport or other immigration document in order to extort money or pecuniary benefit is guilty of a class 5 felony, §18.2-59iv of the Code of Virginia;

2007 (SB 1192) – Allows the courts to assess as part of the costs taxed to the defendant the costs of any interpreter appointed for the defendant when the defendant fails to appear for trial and is convicted of a failure to appear and the interpreter appears in the case and no other case on the date the defendant is convicted, §19.2-164 of the Code of Virginia;

2007 (HB 2261) -- Penalties for residential overcrowding violations increased, §15.2-2286 of the Code of Virginia; and

2007 (SB1412) – Local zoning administrators given unprecedented authority to subpoena birth certificates and other personal documents in order to enforce local housing ordinances, §15.2-2286 of the Code of Virginia.


In the words of the NRA, is it possible that we have "all the laws we need" and that we "just need to enforce the laws we have"?

That's what's suggested in the report to the Crime Commission Task Force on Illegal Immigration and Law Enforcement which indicated that only 68% of 51% of sheriffs responding to the survey were complying with the identification and reporting requirements in existing state law. See copy of the survey results posted on the Task Force website here.

On the other hand, testimony of college and university officials over the past 5 years and evidence in this lawsuit challenging the refusal of Virginia public colleges to admit undocumented students makes clear that the current strict domicile laws are all that is necessary to prevent undocumented students from being admitted to 4 year schools as in-state students and even the community colleges that do admit students without documentation of legal status only do so as out of state (full pay, no taxpayer subsidy) students.

Before we put more unneeded "brochure bill" laws on the books, let's take a look at what's in place already and ask whether the current law is being implemented, and, if not, why not.

Sounds like a job for the new Virginia Commission on Immigration . All the members have been appointed and the Commission will start meeting to look at the costs AND benefits of immigration this fall.

Let's let the new Commissioners do the difficult job of gathering the facts and sorting through policy options and hear from the Crime Commission Task Force on law enforcement issues before we enact unnecessary, poll driven proposals or act out of ignorance and fear instead of fact and common sense.

2 comments:

Vincent said...

Northern Virginia Community College and some other two-year institutions allow illegal immigrants to enroll.Virginia Immigration Law Stirs Controversy.
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Peter
Virginia Alcohol Addiction Treatment

CG2 said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure what your point is ...

I acknowledged in my post that some community colleges do admit undocumented students, but, as I said, if they do so, they charge out of state tuition so there is no taxpayer subsidy ...
"even the community colleges that do admit students without documentation of legal status only do so as out of state (full pay, no taxpayer subsidy) students."