A Virginia Senate committee should not have voted down an anti-illegal immigration law that would have allowed state police to check the immigration status of those detained or arrested, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors said in a news release Friday.
Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) became one of the most outspoken proponents of a similar measure in Prince William that passed in 2007. Stewart said that the so-called “Rule of Law” measure has decreased violent crime.
Prince William police have handed over more than 4,300 illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Stewart said he hopes senators take a fresh look at the legislation if a companion bill, H.B. 1060, passes the House of Delegates.
“This legislation will save lives in Virginia, just as it has in Prince William,” Stewart said in the release. Getting the measure adopted statewide is one of the county’s priorities.
The bill, S.B. 460, failed in the Senate’s Courts of Justice Committee on Wednesday after a split vote, according to the nonpartisan group Richmond Sunlight, which tracks legislation.
The Prince William measure was controversial when it was passed, and it prompted protests from the Latino community and others who argued that the measure could lead to racial profiling. Other detractors have said that it has hurt businesses and the county’s image.