Prince William wants immigration policies adopted statewide

Prince William County is asking state legislators to adopt its policing policies on illegal immigration on a statewide basis.

The Board of County Supervisors voted Tuesday to ask state legislators to adopt a law, passed in 2007 and modified in 2008, that mandates that local police check the immigration status of anyone arrested. Supervisor Frank J. Principi (D-Woodbridge) voted against sending the request on to the General Assembly and Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (R-Coles) was absent.

The illegal immigration measure, championed by Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), was controversial and led to widespread protest in Prince William and elsewhere. But Stewart and others in Prince William consider it a common-sense measure that has had positive results for the county.

The original policy directed police officers to check immigration status only if there was probable cause to believe that they were in the country illegally. But the board changed that in 2008, and now police check the immigration status of everyone arrested.

The Board of County Supervisors made the same request last year, but Stewart said recent Republican gains in the election earlier this month would make its passage more likely this time around.

“I think this legislation will come up again this year, and it will have a much better chance,” said Stewart, who is widely expected to run for lieutenant governor.

The county would also like the General Assembly to ensure it adequately funds local roads and schools, among other priorities.

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