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9th District: Good Candidates on the Illegal Alien Issue

By Greg L | 30 May 2007 | Illegal Aliens, Virginia House | 9 Comments

It seems that Democrats in Virginia are understanding that the illegal alien problem isn’t going to get any better if it’s approached from a “social justice” perspective. Eric Ferguson, who is running in the 9th House of Delegates District issued a very strong press release on this issue today, raising hopes that effective legislation to combat the presence of illegal aliens in Virginia is increasingly becoming a non-partisan issue.

From today’s press release:

Virginia’s employers are not currently required to verify that potential employees are either citizens or working legally. Ferguson says this must change, “We can no longer do business as usual.”

Under Ferguson’s plan, if an employer fails to verify the documentation and is found to have hired an illegal worker there would be a civil penalty of $10,000 per violation and a thirty day suspension of their right to conduct business. The $10,000 penalty would be earmarked for the creation and maintenance of the verification database and the employment of 100 new state employment inspectors.

A second offense would result in a complete revocation of the business’s right to conduct business in Virginia as well as the prohibition of the owner’s ability to undertake other business in the Commonwealth.

Ferguson continued, “It should be the top priority of our elected officials to secure our borders and stem the tide of illegal immigration long before they dedicate our limited resources to rewarding illegal behavior with amnesty.” Ferguson added, “Until the federal government enacts meaningful immigration reform, the states must fend for themselves. The financial burden of illegal immigration should not rest upon the shoulders of the hardworking, taxpaying public. It is time we stop all of the talk and take some serious action.”

Ferguson’s opponent is incumbent Republican Alan Dudley.  Dudley has a good voting record on this subject in the last legislative session, and was a co-patron of HB 487 in the 2006 session which sought to implement the Section 287(g) Program in Virginia.  That of course was killed by a committee in the Senate.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue.  There are representatives from both parties that are good and bad on reducing the numbers of, and effects by illegal aliens, and there is an opportunity for Democrats to make plenty of inroads if they get on the right side in this debate.  If more challengers understand that this issue represents a substantial opportunity to gain traction in their races, we could be looking at a big change in how successful legislation on this subject will be in the next session.

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  1. Not Larry Sabato said on 30 May 2007 at 5:07 pm:
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    No, its an open seat Greg. Dudley is retiring.

  2. citizenofmanassas said on 30 May 2007 at 6:12 pm:
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    I am fine with taking on businesses that hire illegals. However, what about the illegals that do not work? It seems when Dems do take on the illegal alien issue they seem to just want to go after businesses that hire illegals, while ignoring the fact the illegal broke another law by working in the Country. This issue is not going to be taken care off by just focusing on what aspect of the problem.

    I sure hope he has more of a plan then what is included in this release.

  3. Manassas insider said on 30 May 2007 at 6:58 pm:
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    Greg, Jackson Miller had a bill that would have had a business lose its business license if they were found to be intentionally hiring illegals.

    I must also agree with citizenofmanassas. Even Millers opponent wants to make a criminal out of anyone who is found hiring an illegal alien, but she refuses to agree with anything that punishes the illegal alien himself. The Democrats are full of S@*t when they say they want to do something about illegal immigration.

  4. disgusted LEGAL citizen said on 30 May 2007 at 7:50 pm:
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    Manassas insider: I agree. the DEMS can’t be trusted on the illegal immigration issue. But don’t kid yourself that the REPUBLICANs are any better…yeah, we’ve got a handful in the house, state and fed sides that may be straight shooters. But this extremely critical and timely issue, now raising it’s ugly head again as the GRAND BARGAIN, doesn’t even merit a blip on the radar of the REPUB party so far as I can see: http://www.rpv.org/

    And that’s exactly why we have the likes of sen. RINO WARNER, KYL and GRAHAM on the fed side, and the illegal allien booster club at the state house level on the Republican side.

    It’s time to hold the PARTY accountable. I guarantee you if the money dries up, they will sit up and take note, and even put the pressure on the loose cannons — but not one second before!

    “Until the borders are secure and there are working and mandatory employer verification and entry/exit programs, Congress should not even be discussing amnesty, much less enacting one.”

  5. NoVA Scout said on 30 May 2007 at 8:39 pm:
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    I would think conservative defenders of the Constitution would be fairly vociferous in maintaining that state and local governments cannot criminalize work (or non-work) by persons who are in the United States without authority or proper credentials. If Mr. Ferguson has some useful ideas on this, he should run for Congress. He’s wasting his time trying to ride this horse into the General Assembly (other than the fact that a lot of people like the rhetoric, don’t care that it doesn’t mean anything substantive and can have no real world application).

  6. Robert Clark said on 30 May 2007 at 8:50 pm:
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    In this case, my NOVA friends, you know not of what you speak. Allen Dudley, the Republican who is retiring from this seat was lambasted in the last cycle because he rents run down trailers to illegal aliens for $400 a month and says “as long as they pay their rent, I don’t care where they are from.”

    Then he and the GOP candidate in this cycle both say a landlord must rent to illegal aliens. That simply isn’t the case.

    Ferguson has been pretty strong on this issue going after the criminal for coming here and the criminal for hiring them, and the criminal for providiing them safe harbor.

    In fact, Ferguson ran, if I remember correctly, an ad saying he would do everything he could do as a delegate to bring our jobs home, and everything he could do to send the illegals home.

    A Delegate has no way of controlling borders or determining citizenship/deportation status. What a Delegate can do, is go after the issue in ways where he or she can make legislation with some teeth. Ferguson is that kind of candidate.

  7. NoVA Scout said on 30 May 2007 at 10:00 pm:
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    Such legislation at the state level probably doesn’t have gums, let alone teeth.

  8. Lovell Reiley said on 30 May 2007 at 10:31 pm:
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    It is too bad that Mr. Ferguson doesn’t know what the law is.

    It is illegal under both federal law and state law to hire a person who is not lawfully present and ALL employers are required to verify lawful status using an I-9 form and to maintain the documentation for inspection by ICE (n.b., failure to maintain the paperwork just cost Smithfield big dollars).

    It is also the case that, even though the current state law makes it a misdemeanor to hire someone illegally, that law is preempted by federal law and is unconstitutional, as would be the case with the law that Ferguson is proposing under both the current immigration laws and under the proposed comprehensive immigration reform.

    Ferguson is proof that Democrats can demogogue with the best of them when it comes to beating up on the powerless to get elected.

    Let me ask you this … is there more justification for suspension of a person’s business for 30 days as a sanction (in addition to fines) for a civil (or criminal) immigration violation than for corporate violations of state and federal environmental laws? state and federal workplace safety laws? unfair competition rules? consumer protection laws? etc etc

    If so, what is it?

  9. Mauren Wood said on 31 May 2007 at 4:51 pm:
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    Everyone must also remember Rishell’s rhetoric when she ran against Jackson Miller last year. She sounded pretty good on her immigration stance until you really looked at what groups she belonged to, and she was eventually called on it.

    The average citizens that didn’t dig to deep would have thought Rishell was a good candidate, with one exception, she was a Dem.

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