Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-Woodbridge) has pre-filed a bill (HB 1618) to implement the Section 287(g) Program for the Virginia State Police. The bill is a directive to enter into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security and does not specify how many officers should be trained or whether this will be implemented only within the jails or whether the training will be provided to rank-and-file officers. The text of the bill is as follows:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. § 1. It shall be the responsibility of the Governor, or other eligible authority, to enter into an agreement with the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement to authorize certain members of the Virginia Department of State Police to enforce civil immigration violations in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This is tremendous good news. Herndon and Manassas have started the process of nailing down these MOUs, Prince William County will discuss the program tomorrow, and other localities and counties are currently considering this. If the program becomes a state initiative it will lower costs and speed participation by localities which would have the ability to piggyback on the state effort.
Leaving the details of what that participation will actually look like open to discussion is a good idea, as there are many places where this program can be effective and the scope of the participation in this program needs discussion and input. By leaving this as a simple determination that the program will move forward it will help ensure that arguments about the details don’t distract from the broader idea that this program is valuable, necessary and worthwhile. Once there’s consensus about the need for the program, which shouldn’t be difficult, we can start discussing details and a timeline for implementing the program.
Liberals are howling about this, but it’s a tremendously popular program with the electorate and has broad bipartisan support in Virginia. Liberals howled about the Marriage Amendment this past year as well and were handed an embarassing defeat. This will be a similar defeat for them as they continue to demonstrate that they are completely out of touch with the values and concerns of Virginia’s voters.
Tim Kaine identified Jeff Frederick as one of the leaders in the House of Delegates earlier this month. This is one time when I would agree with the Governor.
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