In California, Senate leader Kevin de León has introduced SB 54, the California Values Act, to create safe spaces and expand protections for the undocumented. This legislation would ban the use of state and local resources for carrying out the work of federal immigration officials in deportation actions."
There are currently six bills up for consideration in the House of Delegates that would result in discrimination or force localities or colleges into becoming agents for federal immigration authorities using your tax dollars.
Del. Robert Marshall's (R-Manassas) HB1468 seeks to force state and local jails to hold people for U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) even after they've served their terms and are supposed to be released. Sheriffs and other jail officials know that's unconstitutional. Governor McAuliffe vetoed a nearly identical bill last year.
Del. Rich Anderson's (R-Woodbridge) HB1723 would require charities and others working with refugees to report to local politicians exactly when and where refugees choose to resettle. This would mark an already vulnerable population for unconstitutional intimidation and harassment.
Del. Charles Poindexter's (R-Glade Hill) HB2000 and Del. Ben Cline's (R-Amherst) HB2236 attempt to force localities into “volunteering” to enforce federal immigration laws using local tax dollars by threatening withdrawal of state funds. Communities will be less safe if immigrants see local police as nothing more than an arm of ICE and become reluctant to cooperate in solving crimes. Virginia has had a state law mandating all people taken into custody have their immigration status checked when admitted, meaning ICE already has all they need to know in order to keep criminal aliens from being released if they see them as dangerous to public safety.
Delegate Poindexter's HB2001 would require every employee of public colleges and universities to “cooperate” with immigration enforcement becoming informers for ICE.
Delegate Poindexter's HB2002 would require nonprofit refugee resettlement agencies to report information about its residents to the state Department of Social Services. Refugees already undergo strict screening by Homeland Security and the FBI before resettling in America.
The amazing breadth and depth of resistance to the president's ban on refugees and Muslim immigrants demonstrates that most Americans are compassionate and welcoming. This is a country of immigrants. We do neither ourselves nor our new neighbors any favor by adopting laws clearly designed to hurt them or turn any of us into snitches for the federal government.
Urge your state delegate to oppose all of these measures. Virginia is better than this.
1. Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries, Michael D. Shear and Helene Cooperjan, NY Times, Jan 27, 2017.
2. Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Is Cowardly and Dangerous, The Editorial Board, New York Times, Jan. 28, 2017.
3. A Federal Judge Just Issued a Stay Against Donald Trump's "Muslim Ban", Mother Jones, Jan. 28, 2017.
4. Countries where Trump does business are not hit by new travel restrictions, Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post, January 28, 2017.
5. Thousands Protest At Airports Nationwide Against Trump's Immigration Order, NPR, January 29, 2017
7. Memos signed by DHS secretary describe sweeping new guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants, David Nakamura, Washington Post, Feb 18, 2017.