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McDonnell Response To Illegal Alien Crime Underwhelms

By Greg L | 13 August 2010 | Illegal Aliens, Virginia Politics, Crime | 5 Comments

Governor Bob McDonnell threw a bone to concerned supporters this week by announcing that he would request enrollment of the Virginia State Police in the Section 287(g) Program.  Before anyone thinks of breaking out the proverbial champagne in celebration of McDonnell stepping back from his comments that Virginia is already doing everything it can in regards to illegal immigration, they might want to consider holding off a bit, as the ultimate result of this announcement is likely to be pretty disappointing.

When Bob was Attorney General, and the Bush White House was at least going through the motions of enforcing our immigration laws, Bob wanted to see enrollment in the Section 287(g) Program happen, and at the time that call for action made eminent sense.  Several localities had entered into the program, gotten the requisite training, and the immediate results in places like Herndon and Prince William County were astonishing, as it was discovered that upwards of 20% of the inmates incarcerated by these localities were illegal aliens who had somehow slipped through the dragnet of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Although then-Governor Tim Kaine would have nothing to do with this program, it was delivering immediate results and having then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell calling on Kaine to join the program was great political ammunition that pointed out a horrible disconnect between Virginians and the Democrat leadership.

Fast-forward to the present, and the Obama Administration has dramatically curtailed the program, and hasn’t accepted a single state or locality into the program.  Anyone sending a letter to Obama now saying they want in is going to find that the resources to provide the required training for the program have been tasked elsewhere, no one is processing new applicants, and the request will sit in a growing stack of applications that will without a doubt languish until at least the departure of President Obummer from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Governor McDonnell might as well have asked Obama to federalize the Virginia Guard to be deployed on the Arizona border.  Either of those requests would have gone nowhere.

Acceptance into the Section 287(g) program results in a memorandum (called MOUs) of understanding getting executed between the participating agency and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Last year, all the MOUs that had been carefully crafted to take into account the needs of the state or locality along with the resources ICE could provide got thrown out and replaced with a one-size-fits all that “prioritizes” deportations.  This effectively means that instead of agreed on performance measures by ICE to remove all illegal aliens subject to a detainer within a certain time period, ICE will remove only those illegal aliens it considers a danger, and they’ll do so when they feel like it.  Consider this effective amnesty for illegal aliens who haven’t risen to the level of professional murderer, rapist, or gang-banger.  Back when this change was announced, I told the Prince William Board of County Supervisors the result of this change would be more dead Americans.  In a disturbing and heartbreaking turn of events involving a nun on her way to Church one Sunday morning, I turned out to be right.  I wish I weren’t.

So even if ICE somehow agrees to accept the Virginia State Police into the Section 287(g) Program — breaking over a year of suspensions of new applicants, and can somehow come up with the resources to train all those officers in some reasonable timeframe, the program has been deliberately turned into a fairly hollow shell of what it once was.  The effect of the participation would only be marginally better than the Secure Communities Program.  Although deportations of criminal illegal aliens probably wouldn’t change at all, at least officers of the Virginia State Police would have some good training in how to detect illegal aliens, uncover identity fraud, detect human smuggling and dismantle sexual slavery rings.  Then ICE would do nothing about the illegal aliens they apprehended.

The idea, back when there was an administration that actually gave a whit about the Section 287(g) Program, was to enroll not only the Virginia State Police, but the Virginia Department of Corrections and the Department of Motor Vehicles in the program as well.  The DOC could identify illegal aliens in state prisons and perform the processing of detainers on them, ensuring that those folks were deported, subject to the interest of ICE in actually removing them rather then releasing them back into our communities.  At the DMV, trained officers would have additional training in how to spot document fraud and identity theft and have the authority to put suspects into detention pending criminal and immigration proceedings.  Governor McDonnell hasn’t asked for that, which is surprising.  Those are definitely two agencies that could benefit as much — if not more than the State Police by participation in the 287(g) Program, lending a nice counterpoint to Governor McDonnell’s previous statements that there was nothing more Virginia could do to combat illegal immigration.

Heck, if he’d just read his old correspondence from when he was Attorney General, Governor McDonnell would have a nice long list of things we could be doing.  At least if an entre into the Section 287(g) Program was contemplated, we’d get all the state law enforcement agencies enrolled and not just the Virginia State Police.  I applaud the Governor’s interest in the issue, but either he’s getting bad advice or just simply doesn’t intend to address this issue and instead has opted for some nice looking window-dressing.

I just hope we don’t have to see more innocent Virginians die before Bob McDonnell somehow finds the guts to actually protect Virginians from the impacts of illegal immigration in Virginia, which increase unemployment, saddle taxpayers with costs they shouldn’t have to bear, and harm our public safety.  The tragedies that result from the failure of government to get and keep illegal aliens out of our country are unbearable.

Governor McDonnell, this recent tragedy is Obama’s, because he deliberately put in place the conditions under which it happened.  The next one will be yours, because you didn’t take the opportunity to take the necessary steps to protect Virginians after the federal government decided to go against the citizens of Virginia, and with illegal aliens.  When the federal government fails us, it is the duty of our state government to step in and resolve the problem.

Governor, do your duty.

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  1. Patty said on 14 Aug 2010 at 8:12 am:
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    I have to disagree. Sure B.O. has done everything he can to make 287g weak but Congress has not repealed it. It is still on the books. B.O. is not going to be president forever. I wish people would stop acting like he is. There is plenty of politiclal pressure mounting on him. His recent statements about allowing a mosque at ground zero is going to put another nail in his coffin so to speak (figure of speech).

    I still think enrolling in 287g is worthwhile. It may take a long while but it would be worth the wait. To get from point A to point B you have to take one step at a time. Can Virginia do more….Absolutely! We have to do everything we can including E-verify because illegal immigration is a huge multi faceted problem to which we have to have many solutions just like the military has to have many weapons to defend a country.

    For those of you who do not like my analogies (JM) TOO BAD.

    JM, would you have picked on Jesus for comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed? (Matthew 13:31-33). You need to remember who you’re working for.

  2. Jim F. said on 15 Aug 2010 at 10:22 pm:
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    In my opinion, McDonnell has higher political ambitions on a national stage (VP nominee maybe?) and doesn’t want to take aggressive stances where possible. McDonnell seems to be trying to take a middle of the road approach on most issues to avoid confrontation. That is why we are seeing Cuccinelli do all of the heavy lifting required to actually clean up the state and protect the citizens of our great old dominion.

  3. Greg L said on 15 Aug 2010 at 10:47 pm:
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    Regardless of ambition or future aspirations, he was hired to do a job. Much of that job was to clean up the mess that Tim Kaine left by subverting the interests of the Commonwealth in order to bolster Kaine’s efforts to be Chairman of the DNC and to serve his future political interests.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is bolstering any future political ambition he may have by doing his job and doing it with determination and extraordinary courage. In the end, it will be Chris Christie whose national political fortunes will rise the most, because he has proven dedication and fidelity above and beyond, leaving those who ill-advisedly try to gain acceptance from political opponents by sacrificing principle wondering why they are seen as marginal players at best in comparison.

    Governor McDonnell has the opportunity and the ability to lead with principle, show his determination to put the interests of Virginians first, and stick to what he told the electorate he would do. I sincerely hope he will follow through not only for the results this will deliver to the Commonwealth, but eventually to the nation as a whole.

    History has proven that pandering to political opponents, as GW Bush was wont to do is a losing strategy. I hope Bob McDonnell has learned that lesson. We’ll see if he has.

  4. hazegray said on 16 Aug 2010 at 8:31 am:
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    I respectfully disagree.

    IF you can get VA State Police into the 287(g), then travel on the Interstate and US numbered highways (e.g., 17,29) is subject to oversight by police who are empowered to ask questions of those who look like they might not have “legal presence.” That would be a BIG step toward denying illegals freedom of movement within the state.

    Sure, you can still use the county backroads, but the whole travel thing gets a lot more difficult. At the end of the day, “enforcement by attritiion” is simply to make being in the state such a pain that they’ll go elsewhere, hopefully back home….

  5. Anonymous said on 17 Aug 2010 at 1:32 pm:
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    “US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails. In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests.” ” They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.”

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