Virginia Jails to Report Foreign Inmates - New Law Targets Illegal Immigrants
A year after Prince William County launched a crackdown on illegal immigrants, Virginia has implemented a law that requires something similar for every jurisdiction in the state. Jail officials are now required to notify federal authorities of all foreign-born inmates regardless of their immigration status. [See 7-10-08 post entitled "Hispanic Population in Decline in Virginia County Following Enforcement of Illegal Immigrant Policy."]
The little-noticed law went into effect July 1 and aims to make every corner of the state as unwelcoming as Prince William for illegal immigrants charged with crimes.
"With our new law, these people who are here illegally should be afraid of living anywhere in Virginia right now," said Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), who helped write the law and chairs the state's crime commission. "If you're here illegally, it's not any scarier to live in Prince William than in any other county."
Prince William and about 60 other jurisdictions nationwide had previously joined in a separate partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to identify immigrants who have committed crimes. But now, under the Virginia law, officials across the state have begun routinely filing similar reports to the same federal authorities that Prince William does.