A reporter asked me today whether changes in party control mean that it’s going to be even harder to get bills though the General Assembly this year that attempt to address the illegal alien problem. My answer was that it shouldn’t, as many Democrats made a lot of promises during their campaigns that they’re going to address this issue, and if they keep their word it might create an opportunity for bi-partisan majorities on a number of issues. Checking the bills introduced during the pre-filing period, there’s some evidence that this well may be the case.
Check out this proposal by Delegate-elect Paul Nichols, a Democrat, in the 51st District:
1. That § 2.2-4317 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 2.2-4308.2 as follows:
§ 2.2-4308.2. Registration and use of federal employment eligibility verification program required; employment of certain individuals prohibited; debarment.
A. Any nongovernmental contractor entering into a public contract with a public body, and any person that subcontracts with such contractor to perform work or provide services pursuant to such public contract, shall register and participate in the federal Electronic Work Verification Program or similar electronic verification of work authorization program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security to verify information of newly hired employees pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (8 USC 1101 et seq.).
B. Any governmental contractor or subcontractor described in subsection A shall verify through the federal Electronic Work Verification Program or similar electronic verification of work authorization program that all of (i) its employees and (ii) the individual independent contractors with which it contracts to perform work or provide services pursuant to such public contract or subcontract, are legally eligible for employment in the United States.
C. No governmental contractor or subcontractor described in subsection A shall employ or continue to employ an individual, or contract independently with an individual to perform work or provide services pursuant to such public contract, who is not determined to be legally eligible for employment in the United States as determined through the contractor’s or subcontractor’s verification of the individual’s status through the federal Electronic Work Verification Program or similar electronic verification of work authorization program.
D. Any business that violates any provision of this section shall be debarred from contracting with any public body for a period of one year. In addition, the public contract or subcontract that the business had entered into with the public body, pursuant to which the violation of this section arose, shall be immediately terminated.
The largest employer of illegal aliens in Virginia is government. The Delegate that wants to fix this particular problem is a Democrat. Anyone who thinks this is strictly a partisan issue is wrong, although Brian Moran and Governor Kaine sure seem to be working overtime to make that appear to be the case. The harder Kaine and Moran try to do this, the more they encourage some strong internal divisions within the Democratic party that will undermine any ability they may have to control what happens in the Senate this year.
I don’t think this is going to be the only strong bill on the illegal alien issue to be introduced by Democrats, but this sure is one example of a bi-partisan consensus that recognizes that we face a problem here and that the Commonwealth can play an effective role in combating the effects of illegal immigration. As additional elected officials from the other side of the aisle follow through on their campaign promises, we should see proposals from junior members of the caucus, such as George Barker, right up to the most senior ones such as Chuck Colgan.
More bills introduced during the pre-filing period are expected to appear on the General Assembly’s website, and it should be very interesting to see how many of these show up with Democrats as sponsors. I doubt that Paul Nichols is the only delegate to recognize some of these problems and want to address them, and keep his campaign promises in doing so.
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