Immigration crackdown headed to Richmond
By: Alexandra Bogdanovic , Times-Democrat Staff Writer

Fauquier County Sheriff Charlie Ray Fox Jr. is taking a "wait and see" approach when it comes to newly proposed state legislation that would address immigration issues.
"It's hard to say what kind of impact this would have [on us] until I know exactly what will be included in the bill," Fox said this week.

Republican lawmakers representing Fairfax, Stafford and Henrico counties introduced the package of legislative measures at a press conference last week.
In a statement issued Aug. 29, House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell, Senate Majority Leader Walter A. Stosch, Sen. Jay O'Brien and Delegate David B. Albo, said the package includes proposals that would "allow state and local authorities to cooperate with federal immigration officials."
The proposed legislation would also "strengthen Virginia's enforcement capabilities in dealing with illegal immigrants who have committed additional crimes."
One element of the proposed legislative package would call for all sheriff's deputies to confirm someone's legal residency in the United States upon making an arrest. Police would have access to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement database (ICE) in order to determine that status.
The Republican lawmakers said this change would "streamline and strengthen statewide immigration enforcement."
Fauquier deputies already check immigration status whenever someone is arrested on felony or misdemeanor charges, Fox said. When necessary, deputies notify ICE agents and the appropriate consulate about the arrest, he added.
Another part of the proposed package would mandate that at least one person on duty in every jail at all times has received specialized federal training.
In the statement issued last week, lawmakers explained, "This change means that, upon a positive identification of an illegal alien, there will be a person with federal authority readily available to detain and begin deportation proceedings after that individual has served his or her sentence."
As proposed, additional elements of the legislative package would:
Create a "presumption of no bail" for any person who has been charged with an offense punishable by jail or prison time and who has been determined (through ICE databases) to be illegally present in the United States.
Make a federal conviction for hiring illegal aliens grounds for a suspension of a business license issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Prohibit illegal aliens from attending state colleges and universities unless they have a valid student visa.
Jill Holtzman Vogel, a candidate for the Virginia Senate from the 27th District, and Delegate Mark Cole, (R-8 quickly endorsed the legislative proposals last week.
"In March, I released the Vogel Plan to crack down on illegal immigration that focuses on increased cooperation between Virginia and federal authorities, finding better ways for employers to identify illegal aliens, and using all the technology at our disposal to eliminate counterfeit identification," the former said.. "I'm pleased to see Republicans in Richmond took the initiative this week to propose legislation that is consistent with these goals."
Cole said that he has "been out meeting and talking with a lot of people...and they are fed-up when it comes
to illegal immigration, The
governor and his allies seem content to throw up their
hands and leave this issue to the federal government.
But the federal government simply is not doing its job
when it comes to securing the border and enforcing
immigration law. Because of this, we must step up and
continue efforts to try to address this issue at the
state and local level."
The package will be considered when the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 9.