In a 7-5 vote, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed (passed by indefinitely) HB 623. Although nearly all Democrats voted to PBI this bill, Democrat Roscoe Reynolds voted against passing this by, Republican Senator Quayle abstained from voting, and for some reason Republican Senator Ken Stolle (who opposed this measure last year) and Republican Senator Tommy Norment both took a walk instead of voting. Still, with Marsh, Saslaw, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Puller, and Deeds forming a decisive block of Democrats who voted to kill this bill, I think it is appropriate to lay the failure of this measure at the feet of the Democrats, who as a block have decided that it is good policy to forgo any effective measures to screen for illegal aliens in our state prisons, and release illegal alien convicts back into our communities after they have served their sentence.
The result of this bone-headed decision is that absent any extraordinary efforts by the Attorney General, as we’ve recently seen, illegal alien sex offenders will be released into your communities and placed on the state Sex Offender Registry rather than be deported. This means that illegal aliens who commit other crimes that don’t garner the limited attention of federal immigration authorities will not be detected in the state prison system, will not be processed for deportation, and will be released back into our communities despite the fact that their presence in the Virginia is unlawful. Unless Democrats immediately do something to address this policy failure on their part, Democrats can and should be held responsible for every crime committed in Virginia by a recidivist illegal alien criminal.
Equally egregious is the clear demonstration that despite recent unity in the Senate Republican Caucus, Senators Stolle and Norment have failed to follow through on their campaign promises and are not deserving of the trust of the voters. Senator Stolle in particular should feel enormous outrage from his constituents over this since he lost two of them to a drunken illegal alien driver last summer who had previous interactions with law enforcement. Had the Section 287(g) Program been in place, the murderer of those two young girls would have been identified and deported long before that fateful day when those two girls died. Senator Stolle has instead decided to rob his constituents of a voice on this matter, violated his promises to meaningfully address immigration policy reform in Virginia, and slunk away in shame instead of voting as he promised. Virginia Beach residents should be outraged.
I don’t understand what Norment’s problem was. He’s been pretty good on immigration issues in general, and why he decided to play hooky and let Democrats protect illegal aliens from the consequences of their actions is beyond reason. Had Qualye voted against PBI instead of abstaining, and Stolle and Norment not taken a walk and voted to report this bill instead of kill it, this bill would have been reported and moved to the full Senate, where it almost certainly would have passed and gone to the Governor. Republicans could have won this vote had their leadership been interested in a victory for Virginians, and instead have prevented forcing Governor Kaine to take a public position on this. Quayle, Norment and Stolle have just given Governor Kaine the political cover he so desperately wanted.
Clearly there is much more housecleaning needed in the Senate of Virginia. I’d rather have three more Roscoe Reynolds clones in the Senate than Norment, Quayle and Stolle if all they’re going to do is sell out the citizens of Virginia and provide cover for Governor Kaine. I expect Saslaw and his ilk to actively subvert the rule of law in Virginia, because that is all they ever seem to want to do. To have a small handful of Republicans help them do it makes me think there’s a few more Chichesters in the Senate who are in dire need of an unrelenting and vicious retribution from their constituents. They really need to explain to the voters why illegal aliens who have committed crimes worthy of incarceration in our state prison system should be permitted to unlawfully remain in the Commonwealth. The next three years of their terms, as well as those of Senators Marsh, Saslaw, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Puller, and Deeds should be made as painful as possible.
Thanks to Senators Reynolds, Cuccinelli, Obenshain, McDougle, and Hurt for standing up against this outrageous practice of releasing criminal illegal aliens from our prisons back into our society. This is a better performance from this committee than we saw last year on this issue. Next year you may have a few more allies, bearing a few bruises, but who have concluded that protecting the interests of illegal aliens over those of Virginia’s legal residents is a politically stupid idea.
UPDATE: Want to tell Senators how you feel about this vote? Click here.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed.