Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart released his draft of the Rule of Law Act today, and immediately members of the House of Delegates pledged to introduce it during next year’s session of the General Assembly. Despite the ongoing and inevitable (given the current Administration in Washington) legal wranglings that are tying up SB 1070 in Arizona, there’s hope that Virginia will move ahead to protect taxpayers, legal workers, honest businesses and our community, all of which suffer from the impacts of illegal immigration and those who profit by perpetuating the state of rampant lawlessness it creates.
The resulting desperation of the left was palpable and in predictable high dudgeon. The Washington Post returned to the “you’re a xenophobic bigot” hogwash that seems to be the typical argument they can bring to bear in any debate when they know they’ve lost. How those who supposedly commit “journalism” can bandy about thoroughly unsupported character assassinations and still remain relevant in the debate is yet to be seen, but the left largely abandoning the thin supremacy clause arguments they previously thought were so utterly compelling so quickly is probably a minor cause for celebration. When intellectual bankruptcy gives way to blind hyperbole, the collapse of their entire agenda can’t be that far away.
Here’s the legislative summary of the proposed law, and it looks like a tremendously comprehensive approach to the problem entirely within the limits of federal authority:
Objectives Achieved in this Draft
- Preserves and legally strengthens vital Arizona enforcement provisions
- Anticipates and avoids legal pitfalls in Arizona law by placing key provisions in sections upheld by 2010-7-28 federal district court ruling (Section 3B)
- Incorporates other best practices, specifically from Oklahoma and Georgia statutes, not present in Arizona law (Section 7, Section 8 )
- Advances new real estate property ownership provision (Section 9)
Section by Section Breakdown
Sections 1, 2, and 10: Intent, Title, and Severability
- Sections 1 and 2 identify the Title and Intent of the Virginia Rule of Law Act
- Section 10 establishes that if any one provision of the law were enjoined or struck down, the rest of the law would go forward
Section 3: Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of immigration laws
- Completely invalidates any and all sanctuary policies and ordinances in Virginia (Section 3A)
- Directs law enforcement to determine legal residency status during any lawful stop, detention, or arrest where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an unlawfully present alien, unless such determination will hinder or obstruct a criminal investigation (Section 3B.2)
- Completely forbids racial profiling (Section 3B.3)
- Instructs local and state detention facilities to turn criminal illegal aliens over to ICE after their sentence is served (Section 3C)
Sections 4 and 6: Human smuggling and conspiracy to smuggle
- Allows Commonwealth Attorneys to prosecute human smuggling and conspiracy to smuggle
- Targets criminals who use drop houses or vehicles to knowingly transport illegal aliens
Section 5: Unlawful stopping to hire and pick up passengers for work – unlawful application or solicitation or employment
- Prohibits roadside solicitation on public roads, right-of-ways, and sidewalks; similar to Virginia ordinance adopted by Prince William County July 27, 2010. Prince William County is the first and only locality to do this since July 1 when the Virginia statute became active. This provision would mandate it for the entire Commonwealth. (Sec. 5A)
- Adds private property to the solicitation ban at property owners’ request (Sec. 5B)
- Prohibits illegal aliens from seeking work at day labor sites (Sec. 5C)
Section 7: Money and wire transmission fee – income tax credit enforcement
- Modeled after successful Oklahoma law
- Collects $5 fee for wire transmissions up to $500 and 1% thereafter
- Remits that fee as a state income tax credit
- This discourages international remittances, allows the Commonwealth to collect otherwise unpaid taxes, and places no fiscal burden on any law abiding legally present person.
Section 8: Unlawful registration of a motor vehicle
- Modeled after Georgia statute
- Prohibits registration of an automobile in the name of an illegal alien
Section 9: Unlawful acquisition or use of real estate by illegal alien
- Makes it illegal for an illegal alien to rent or own real estate
- Does not place a burden on real estate agents
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter immediately issued a press release to support this effort and reassure constituents that the General Assembly would be taking this issue up in January.
WOODBRIDGE, VA - Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Prince William and Fauquier), reacted today to calls from the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Corey Stewart, for legislation to address immigration issues in the upcoming January 2011 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. Lingamfelter issued this statement to the press:
“I have taken Mr. Stewart’s recommendations under advisement and sent them to Richmond today for a legislative services review. When that assessment is complete, we will determine the best course of action to address these ideas, some of which have been attempted in past years. Additionally, I intend to request that the Governor’s Office review
these ideas as some of them are already under consideration or have already been requested many weeks ago.
“The public, particularly those who agree with me that illegal immigration must be addressed, can rest assured that many of my colleagues in the General Assembly are already hard at work to achieve the best possible results when it comes to the rule of law.
“I appreciate Mr. Stewart’s enthusiasm and support for our efforts. It is my hope that the County Board of Supervisors under his leadership will address his immigration ideas in their legislative package they will present to us for consideration later this year.
“In the meantime, I think it is important to stress that public advocacy alone is not how we will get the job done. We need help in the State Senate where the Democratic majority has not been supportive of efforts to deal with the impact of illegal immigration in Virginia. I look forward to Corey’s support in getting more Republicans elected to that body. Moreover, I think it is critical that all of us—local, state, and federal elected leaders and candidates and all citizens—demand that the Obama Administration take immediate steps to secure our border with Mexico.
“When a boat springs a leak, you plug the hole. Bailing endlessly – as states must do now absent Federal action – is not helpful. This November we must take action and defeat all federal elected officials who are not supportive of a no-nonsense effort to secure the borders of this nation.”
Lingamfelter, a retired Colonel and combat veteran who served 28 years in the U.S. Army, was elected to the House of Delegates in 2001 and has been a longtime proponent of controlling illegal immigration.
Although Delegate Lingamfelter doesn’t come out and explicitly endorse this specific draft, it’s pretty clear to me he’s going to take the best proposals and move them forward, and the Rule of Law Act is one of the best proposals I’ve ever seen at the state level. With the momentum growing for taking action and some strong and very carefully constructed initiatives being crafted, it’s going to be very difficult for the Senate of Virginia to do their usual dirty work and summarily shoot down any proposals that will help protect Virginians from the impacts of illegal immigration.
It’s still going to be up to us — every one of us — to make this happen, though. This is the year for enacting some strong solutions at the state level to address illegal immigration, and the difference between victory and defeat will be how much pressure constituents can bring to bear upon their elected officials.
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