IMMIGRATION

THE DREAM

America has always been a shining city on a hill, so it is understandable that people want to come here to work and live.  America is the most inviting nation in the world.  Three of my grandparents were born in eastern Europe and two of my wife’s grandparents were born in Western Europe. They all immigrated here legally.

Prior to 1986, states were allowed to penalize employers who knowingly hired or lured non-citizen workers to the United States illegally to provide cheap labor.  But in 1986, Congress passed the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration “Reform” Act signed by President Reagan.  Three million immigrants who came to the US illegally were given a path to citizenship.  The promise was that our southern border would be secured and employers who hired those who were here illegally would be heavily fined.   Those promises have not been kept by either Democrat or Republican Administrations.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILURES

The federal government under both Republicans and Democrats have not controlled our borders.  Our southern border is especially porous.  Deportation basically pays for a tax paid flight home.  A Prince William police officer told me and my wife that she sees deportees return to the same neighborhoods within a few months.  Securing our borders is a federal responsibility and should be a top federal priority.

The Secure Fence, supposed to be completed by September 30, 2008, exists only on paper.  Our southern border remains open to drug cartels and terrorists.  Our U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that hundreds of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and countries associated with terrorism have entered the country through Mexico illegally, often paying drug gangs to transport them into the U.S., with close to 90 percent of the people eventually successfully entering our country.

STATE RESPONSES

In 2010, I wrote to the governors of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California urging them to establish tax exempt entities and construct secure border fencing along their state’s borders with Mexico.  In 2007, my HB 1673 established the Virginia Commission on Immigration (on which I serveded) to examine the circumstances relating to both legal and illegal immigration.  I voted for bills to require E-verify, to ensure that employers who hire workers who break immigration laws must pay for worker’s compensation claims, to turn youth gang members over to federal officials if they are here illegally, to deny state or local benefits or assistance to unauthorized immigrants, and to require proof of legal presence for in-state tuition rates.

In July 2010, I sought and obtained an opinion from the Virginia Attorney General that law enforcement officers have the authority to check the immigration status of persons during traffic stops.  I explained my request to the Attorney General on Fox News.

Immigration Laws I Co-sponsored or Voted for

In 2007, Bob Marshall’s bill, HB 1673, established the Virginia Commission on Immigration (on which he served) to examine the circumstances relating to immigrants who are in Virginia legally or others who are here illegally.

In July 2010, Bob sought and obtained an opinion from the Virginia Attorney General that law enforcement officers have the authority to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for any reason.  He explained his request to the Attorney General on Fox News.

State Response:  Delegate Marshall voted for bills to require E-verify, to ensure that employers who hire workers who break immigration laws to pay for worker’s compensation claims, to turn youth gang members over to federal officials if they are here illegally, to deny state or local benefits or assistance to unauthorized immigrants, and to require proof of legal presence for in-state tuition rates.

EXPLOITATION OF IMMIGRANTS

Immigrants entering America illegally can be exploited to work for little or no pay while unethical employers do not fear they will complain to authorities because of their illegal status.  Other consequences include women who are afraid to report sexual or other abuse to the police because of their illegal status.  America must have a predictable, orderly and just process for legal immigration, not a policy which looks the other way when our laws are broken.

“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

 

– Thomas Jefferson