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Establishment Republicans Put To The Test

By Greg L | 21 February 2012 | Illegal Aliens, Virginia Senate | 3 Comments

Delegate Rich Anderson’s HB 1060 is going to be heard in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee tomorrow and we will see once and for all whether the Republican Party stands for the rule of law, or wants to ensure that unscrupulous employers (many of whom are large campaign contributors) can continue to unlawfully employ illegal aliens in Virginia.  Republicans in the Senate of Virginia, being the epitome of the Republican establishment, are going to go on record tomorrow and prove what they really stand for.

HB 1060 requires law enforcement to ascertain the legal status of all persons arrested, whether they are held in jail or released with a summons.  This practice has been in place in Prince William County since 2008 and resulted in about 4,000 illegal aliens being turned over to federal authorities for deportation, significant improvements in roadway safety, and strongly discouraged illegal aliens from residing in the county.  A lawsuit by illegal alien supporters was filed to overturn this policy and was dismissed before trial making this one of the few anti-illegal immigration measures that weren’t in any way stopped by a court.

Senator Dick Black introduced a companion measure to this bill in the Senate which came before the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on January 30th.  SB 460 was defeated on a 7-7 tie with Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment actually abstaining on this bill, which caused it to fail.  Norment has been quite unhelpful in the past, so his vote in support of illegal aliens, as disappointing as it was, wasn’t entirely unexpected.  Now Norment and the rest of the Committee have a chance to take this up again, and we will see what they actually stand for — protecting illegal aliens from having their identities positively determined at arrest, or protecting public safety and the rule of law in Virginia.

Liberal wingnuts like the Virginia New Majority and the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations are mounting a push to flood the inboxes of Senators with cries that this law would result in “racial profiling” and “negatively impact immigrant communities.”  I strongly doubt Republicans in the Senate are going to swallow much of those tired and long-ago disproven “Chicken Little” stories, but what Senators will do is listen to large agribusiness, builders, and other business interests complain that the law would make it harder for unethical employers in these industries to flout labor laws and hire illegal aliens instead of American workers, keep wages low, and maintain relatively high unemployment which drives down wages and benefits.  “Senator Norment, if you make it harder for us to hire illegals, we might not be able to afford that campaign contribution next time around.”

So I’ll be fascinated to see what Republicans on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee do tomorrow.  They’re about as good a proxy for establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney, Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell (who hasn’t a single bill on illegal immigration in his legislative priorities list this year) as you’re ever likely to get.  If they stand with unemployed American workers to help them get jobs, ensure the rule of law, and actually do something to reduce illegal immigration in Virginia, perhaps there’s some intent to actually back up some of the conservative-sounding rhetoric they’ve been using with action.  I’d welcome that.  I’d really like to see establishment Republicans stop their practice of using conservatives to win elections only to abandon them when they govern.

I think it’s more likely, especially given Norment’s awful history on Senate Courts, that they’re going to sell out Virginians this year and demonstrate that establishment Republicans are only marginally better than liberal Democrats and that supporting them in any way is utterly a waste of your time and treasure.  Use what happens tomorrow to guide your actions the rest of this election cycle, dispensing with promises and relying instead on history.

UPDATE: The bill was killed in Senate Courts February 22nd with Tommy Norment supporting the illegal aliens.  Surprise!  That’s how much you can trust your establishment Republican types.

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  1. Margaret Baker said on 21 Feb 2012 at 5:42 pm:
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    Delegate Rich Anderson should be commended for his efforts. Rule of Law efforts, like those in Prince William County, have a significant effect on illegal immigration. A 2011 Pew report found that “the economy and law enforcement were both factors in paring down the number of illegal immigrants living in Virginia.” More telling was the finding that the number of illegal immigrants remained steady in Maryland and the District during that same time period.

    Not enforcing our laws has two significant consequences. First, the border becomes a war zone. If immigrants know that they are “home free” after crossing, all the pressure is placed on securing our borders. The second consequence of ignoring our illegal immigrant population is more pernicious than the first. The cost of providing government services to illegal immigrants is a significant cost born by American taxpayers. According to a February issue of the City Journal “U.S.-born Hispanic households in California already use welfare programs (such as cash welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance) at twice the rate of U.S.-born non-Hispanic households, according to an analysis of the March 2011 Current Population Survey by the Center for Immigration Studies. Welfare use by immigrants is higher still. In 2008–09, the fraction of households using some form of welfare was 82 percent for households headed by an illegal immigrant and 61 percent for households headed by a legal immigrant.”
    Solving the world’s poverty problem through open borders, might have worked when our government cofers were flush with cash. But our current debt situation, makes our country worse off than many of those countries who are sending their poor to our shores. Mexico was by far the top-sending country in the last decade with more than four million immigrants arriving between 2000 and 2010. Mexico’s % of debt to GDP in 2010 was 42.92%; the US debt to GDP in 2010 was 94.36%. In 2011, the US debt to GDP climbed to 102%.

  2. Isophorone said on 21 Feb 2012 at 8:45 pm:
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    Note: It’s FLOUT labor laws, not “flaunt” labor laws. Great post, otherwise!

  3. Disgusted said on 21 Feb 2012 at 10:51 pm:
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    The easiest way to give an American a job tomorrow is to deport an illegal alien today.

    Let’s see where Norment stands on this.

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