Unfortunately we are dealing with the aftermath of the federal government's inaction in enforcing immigration laws for 21 years. The "rule of law" must be respected for the common good, otherwise some men become laws unto themselves. Without respect for law there cannot be safe neighborhoods or borders that are secure from terrorists. I support legal, but not illegal immigration.
Many persons have illegally entered the United States lured by "Big Business" which wants cheap labor and politicians who are eager to bolster their ranks with potential voters who can be "organized" due to their lack of knowledge of the English language.
Illegal immigration has resulted in an underground economy where income taxes can be evaded and where businesses hiring illegal immigrants are able to under-cut legitimate businesses which do not disobey the laws against hiring illegal immigrants. Other consequences include women who are afraid to report spouse abuse to the police because of their illegal status, persons who are driving without insurance or the ability to understand English language road signs, an increase in ethnic gangs, public schools which lose accreditation because of the heavy presence of many ESL students, and residential zoning violations creating neighborhood blight, over-crowding and health issues.
The countries which are so eager to send their citizens to America in violation of our border laws continue their social injustices in their own countries with respect to just distribution and ownership of capital. This situation does nothing to serve the illegal immigrant or our American citizens, whether born here or naturalized. Middle class families and workers are left in the lurch, as are the illegal immigrants who are taken advantage of for slave wages.
With the passage of the Federal Immigration act of 1986, states were left with little powers to directly address the immigration issues. (See Attorney General's Opinion on Business Licenses.)
Important Immigration Votes
My votes on immigration bills before the General Assembly in 2006 and 2007 follow:
In the 2007 session, I voted against providing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants, against using tax money to fund groups that obtain government benefits for illegal immigrants, and to make it a felony to transport or hide illegal immigrants for businesses purposes.
My law, HB 1673 established a new Virginia "Commission on Immigration" to study the impact of immigration, both legal and illegal, on county and state services, education, law enforcement, the economy, and to prepare constitutional responses to federal inaction on immigration. The Committee will have its second meeting after the November 2007 election.
I also voted for a bill this year which gives Northern Virginia governments the authority to subpoena legal presence information from persons in residential homes to determine if more than four unrelated individuals are living in the same house, which is illegal.
Citizens have legitimate concerns about zoning violations, neighborhood blight, boarding houses in residential areas, overflowing septic fields from overcrowding which present health hazards, motor vehicle accidents involving uninsured motorists, inability of legitimate businesses to compete with those that hire illegal workers for slave wages, long waiting lines for emergency care at hospitals due to overuse by illegal immigrants, language barriers in the schools which lead to learning problems for legal citizens. These are all matters of social justice that cannot be ignored.
At the same time, we must be careful not to make generalizations nor to allow racial profiling, recognizing that there are many legal immigrants who are of many different nationalities, awaiting U.S. citizenship who have not violated our laws, and who have come to America as our ancestors did, to work within the system, to experience the American dream and to create a better life for themselves and their children.
SB 1412. Authority of a zoning administrator. Whenever the zoning administrator of a locality within Planning District 8 (Northern Virginia) has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in or is engaging in any violation of a zoning ordinance that limits occupancy in a residential dwelling unit, which is subject to a civil penalty that may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-2209, and the zoning administrator, after a good faith effort to obtain the data or information necessary to determine whether a violation has occurred, has been unable to obtain such information, he may request that the attorney for the locality petition the judge of the general district court for his jurisdiction for a subpoena duces tecum against any such person refusing to produce such data or information. Delegate Marshall voted Yes. Bill signed by Governor.
HB 2605 Document verification for employment of illegal immigrants; penalty. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to falsely represent that an alien worker has documentation indicating that he is legally eligible for employment. The measure amends the existing prohibition on employing such aliens to provide that it is unlawful to continue employing such person who cannot provide the required documentation of eligibility. Each day of continued unlawful employment of each alien constitutes a separate civil offense punishable by a $100 civil penalty. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 98-0 failed in Senate.
HB 2622 Harboring illegal alien; penalty. Provides that any person who as a part of a commercial enterprise harbors, transports, or conceals an alien is guilty of a Class 6 felony if he knew that the alien was in the United States illegally. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 89-9 but failed in Senate.
HB 2623 In-state tuition for aliens. Provides that an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, and therefore ineligible to establish domicile pursuant to § 23-7.4, shall not be eligible on the basis of residency within Virginia for any postsecondary educational benefit, including in-state tuition, unless citizens or nationals of the United States are eligible for such benefits in no less an amount, duration, and scope without regard to whether such citizens or nationals are Virginia residents. This bill incorporates HB 1961 (Hargrove), HB 2169 (Cline), and HB 2935 (Miller). Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 74-23 but failed in Senate.
HB 2687 Unfair employment practices; discharging employees when unauthorized aliens are employed. States that it is an unfair employment practice for an employer to knowingly employ any unauthorized alien within the Commonwealth. An employee who is replaced by his employer with an unauthorized alien shall have a cause of action against his employer on or after July 1, 2007. Employers that are enrolled and participate in the federal Basic Pilot Program, are exempt from compliance with federal employment verification procedures under federal law, or have obtained certain employment eligibility verification documentation, are not subject to this measure. Someone discharged in violation of this unfair employment practice is entitled to recover treble damages, including lost wages from the date of the discharge until the date the employee has procured new employment, or 120 days, whichever occurs earlier, and reasonable attorney's fees and costs. This bill incorporates HB 1906. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 62-37 but failed in the Senate.
HB 2688 Workers' compensation; benefits paid to unauthorized aliens; penalties. Makes an employer, rather than the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier, liable for payment of workers' compensation benefits payable to an unauthorized alien. In addition, an employer is required to promptly reimburse a third party that has paid benefits to an unauthorized alien for payments it has made to the injured alien. An employer that verified the work authorization status of the injured worker, through use of the Basic Pilot Program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, obtained certain employment eligibility verification documentation, or is exempt from compliance with federal employment verification procedures under federal law, is exempt from these provisions. In addition, if an unauthorized alien who is eligible for disability is inadmissible to the United States under federal immigration law, the payor of the disability benefits shall require the unauthorized alien to present himself in person at a bank or financial institution located within a foreign country before receiving disability payments. A person violating these provisions is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty of $25,000. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 52-45 but failed in the Senate.
HB 2806 BPOL tax; powers of commissioners of the revenue. Grants local commissioners of the revenue the power to deny or revoke business licenses of persons who are aliens and who cannot provide legal documents proving they are legally eligible to be employed in the United States. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 82-15 but failed in Senate.
SB 1204 In-state tuition rates; prohibited for certain individuals. Prohibits the board of visitors or other governing body of a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth from authorizing in-state tuition rates for individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States. The bill also provides that, notwithstanding the provisions regarding the governing bodies' mandates, any person shall be eligible for in-state tuition who: (i) has resided in Virginia while attending high school; (ii) has graduated from a public or private high school in Virginia or has received a General Education Development (GED) certificate in Virginia; (iii) has resided in the Commonwealth for at least three years on the date of high school graduation; (iv) has registered in an institution of higher education; (v) has provided an affidavit stating that he has filed an application to become a permanent resident of the United States and is actively pursuing such permanent residency or will do so as soon as he is eligible; and (vi) has submitted evidence that he or, in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least three years prior to the date of enrollment. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed Senate and passed House with substitute. Senate failed to pass House substitute.
HB 262 Admission of illegal aliens to public institutions of higher education. Provides that an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for enrollment in any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth. This bill incorporates H.B. 892. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 67-33 but failed in Senate.
HB 847 Gang information; juvenile records. Requires the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice to collect information on individuals identified as gang members and transmit it to the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. The Council will disseminate the information to attorneys for the Commonwealth. The bill also specifies that law-enforcement agencies, school administrations and probation offices are included as entities that may examine certain juvenile records held by the Department of Juvenile Justice if there is a court order determining that they have a legitimate interest. The bill also says that the court order may be granted if the person, agency, or institution has a legitimate interest in the juvenile. Under current law the interest is limited to the case or in the work of the court. In addition, the Department of Juvenile Justice will be allowed to release the social reports and records of a child to certain law enforcement employees for the purpose of investigating criminal street gang activity. This bill is identical to SB 561. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House & Senate and became Chapter 0431.
HB 1046 Reporting certain juveniles to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Provides that a juvenile intake officer shall report to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency a juvenile who has been detained in a secure facility based on an allegation that he committed a violent juvenile felony and who the intake officer has probable cause to believe is in the United States illegally. Voted Yes. Passed House & Senate and became Chapter 682.
HB 1048 Document verification for employment of illegal immigrants; penalty. Requires employers to obtain employment eligibility verification documentation as specified in Form I-9 indicating that a prospective employee is legally eligible for employment in the United States. Employers are required to retain such Form I-9 documentation of eligibility for employment on each of their employees for the same period they are required to keep such records under federal law. Violations involving the knowing employment of persons not legally eligible for employment in the United States, in addition to being Class 1 misdemeanors, are punishable by a fine of $10,000. The Department of Labor and Industry is required to provide access to a computer database to assist employers in determining whether prospective employees are legally eligible for employment. An employer that hires persons not legally eligible for employment in the United States will be ineligible to participate in foreign labor certification programs for a period of three years following conviction. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 77-22 but failed in Senate.
HB 1050 In-state tuition for aliens. Provides that an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, and therefore ineligible to establish domicile pursuant to § 23-7.4, shall not be eligible on the basis of residency within Virginia for any postsecondary educational benefit, including in-state tuition, unless citizens or nationals of the United States are eligible for such benefits in no less an amount, duration, and scope without regard to whether such citizens or nationals are Virginia residents. This bill incorporates H.B. 1135. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 76-23 but failed in Senate.
HB 1067 Document verification for employment of illegal immigrants; penalty. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to falsely represent that an alien worker has documentation indicating that he is legally eligible for employment. Each day of unlawful employment of each alien constitutes a separate civil offense punishable by a $100 civil penalty. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 99-0 but failed in Senate.
HB 1460 Immigration status of youth gang criminals and families. Provides that upon the conviction of any person of a youth gang crime, the probation and parole officer shall verify the person's immigration status. If the officer discovers that the person is in the United States illegally, he shall report his status to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The officer shall then contact the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and report information he may have on the person and his family and household members. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House 96-4 but failed in Senate.
SB 561 Gang information; juvenile records. Requires the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice to collect information on individuals identified as criminal gang members and transmit it to the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. The Council will disseminate the information to attorneys for the Commonwealth. The bill also specifies that law-enforcement agencies, school administrations and probation offices are included as entities that may examine certain juvenile records held by the Department of Juvenile Justice if there is a court order determining that they have a legitimate interest. The bill also provides that the information may be provided to a criminal justice agency that is conducting research. This bill is identical to HB 847. This bill incorporates SB 151 and SB 351. Del. Marshall Voted Yes. Passed House & Senate and became Chapter 500.
HB 1798 Public benefits; proof of legal presence. Provides that no person who is not a U.S. citizen or legally present in the United States is eligible for any state or local public benefits. The bill defines state and local public benefits, and sets forth a series of exceptions to this eligibility rule. The bill also requires applicants for state or local assistance to provide proof of legal presence in the United States and establishes a process for temporary receipt of benefits when applicants cannot provide such proof. Delegate Marshall voted yes. Became law, Chapter 0876.