Virginia Republicans in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates on Tuesday announced a broad package of bills intended to crack down on illegal immigration and restrict public services to illegal immigrants in the commonwealth.
House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford, appointed Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, to chair a special task for on the issue. Other members include Dave Albo, R-Fairfax; Rich Anderson, R-Prince William; and Jackson Miller, R-Manassas.
“House Republicans believe that playing by the rules and abiding by the law is important,” said Lingamfelter. “Countless immigrants to this great nation have come here to embrace the American dream and we very much honor legal immigrants by ensuring that when people enter our country for legal purposes and they observe the rules, we welcome them. It’s that simple.”
Immigration bills being pushed by members of the task force include two that would require sheriffs to question the status of anyone arrested, a move to supplement existing state law that requires them to do so when a person is “taken into custody” at a jail.
Other bills would require departments of social services to verify someone's legal status before supplying them with public benefits, require a parent to provide their citizenship status when enrolling a student in public school, and bar illegal immigrants from enrolling in public universities in the state.
Most, if not all, of the bills will almost assuredly face an uphill climb in the Democratic-controlled Senate.