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.
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:
- Trafficking & Extortion of Immigrants - HB 1921 (2007) - Protects immigrants by penalizing any person who extorts anyone by knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing a passport or other immigration document of another person.
- Coordination with Federal Officials - HB 820 (2008) - Requires an officer in charge of a jail or correctional facility to determine the immigration status of inmates or persons detained.
- Penalize Businesses for Employing Illegal Workers - HB 926 (2008) - Makes a federal conviction for hiring illegal aliens grounds for suspension of a business license issued by the Commonwealth.
- Presumption of No Bail - HB 440 (2008) - Creates a presumption of no bail for any person who has been charged with an offense punishable by jail time and who has been determined (through ICE databases) to be illegally present in the U.S.
- Keeping Virginia Streets & Community Safe - HB 350 (2010) - Localities maypass ordinances to prohibit the distribution of handbills & solicitation of services (i.e. day labor) and merchandise on highways within their boundaries or on public roadways and medians.
- E-Verify State Employment - HB 737 (2010) - Requires state agencies to use the E-Verify program on all new hires by the Commonwealth.
- Public Benefits (State & Local) - HB 1798 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=051&typ=bil&val=hb1798 (2005) - Provides that a person who is not a U.S. citizen or legally present in the US is NOT eligible for any state or local public benefits. Applicants for state or local assistance must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S., with the exception of emergency waivers.
- Overcrowding Residential Property fines - HB 1107http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=081&typ=bil&val=hb1107 (2008) - Increases the maximum fines for repeat violations of ordinances regulating the number of unrelated persons in single-family residential dwellings.
- False ID - HB 25 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=061&typ=bil&val=hb25 (2006) - Anyone who gives police false ID to deceive is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Firearm Possession - HB 79http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=041&typ=bil&val=hb79 (2004) - Any person not lawfully present in the United States shall be guilty of Class 6 felony for possession of any firearm.
- Abduction, Kidnapping & Human Trafficking - (HB 2016) http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=hb2016 (2009) - Expands abduction to include abducting a person with the intent to subject the person to forced labor or services. Intimidation is redefined to include withholding a passport or like document.
- Search Warrants - HB 430http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=081&typ=bil&val=hb430 (2008) - Gives zoning administrators the power to seek an inspection warrant allowing them to search private dwellings for zoning violations.
- Zoning Enforcement ID Documents - SB 1412http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=071&typ=bil&val=sb1412 (2007) - Gives local zoning administrators in NOVA broad authority to subpoena birth certificates and other documents in order to enforce local housing ordinances if they have reasonable cause to believe a person is violating a zoning ordinance.
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.