By Meymo Lyons
The chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors is calling on state lawmakers to pass the "Virginia Rule of Law Act," modeled on the controversial Arizona measure designed to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Corey Stewart, the chairman of the board touts, a 37 percent drop in violent crime as a direct result of Prince William County's own aggressive illegal immigration policy, which requires that police officers ask about the immigration status of everyone arrested on suspicion of violating a state or local law.
Stewart, an at-large Republican,says the Virginia Rule of Law Act would also outlaw day laborer centers, prohibit solicitation on all public roads and make it a crime to be an illegal immigrant in Virginia.
A spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell says the administration will review the proposal. Stewart says he's optimistic.
Nancy Lyall, of the immigrant advocacy group Mexicans Without Borders called the proposal "irresponsible." There's a need for reform, Lyall says, but it should come from the federal government.
"This type of legislation targeting people who have been a productive part of society for most of their lives is just unheard of and unjust," she says.
Stewart says he is pursuing the issue now because the 2011 general assembly session is the last before statewide house and senate elections next fall.
He plans to choose a sponsor for the measure in the House of Delegates and the State Senate in the near future.