Virginia AG: Police Can Inquire About Immigration Status | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Virginia AG: Police Can Inquire About Immigration Status

Play associated audio

By Jonathan Wilson

Virginia's Attorney General -- Ken Cuccinelli -- is weighing in on immigration enforcement in the Commonwealth.

Cuccinelli says police in Virginia have the right to inquire about the immigration status of people they arrest or even pullover.

"Virginia law enforcement have the authority to make such inquiries, so long as they don't extend the duration of a stop," Cuccinelli says.

Cuccinelli issued his opinion in response to a request from state delegate Bob Marhsall, who wanted clarification on whether Virginia police have the same authorities as Arizona police, under that state's recently enacted immigration enforcement law.

Marshall says Cuccinelli's response gives Virginia residents a clearer sense of what local governments can do when it comes to immigration.

"If a local board of supervisors don't want to uphold the rule of law, they'll answer to voters," Marsall says.

Claire Guthrie Gastanaga is the former chief deputy attorney general in Virginia and works with immigration advocacy groups.

She questions Cuccinelli's argument -- pointing to the temporary injunction placed on key parts of Arizona's new law. She says he's done Virginians a disservice by issuing this opinion.

"Rather than acting like the objective judge that he's supposed to act like -- these opinions are quasi-judicial -- he's in fact acting like an activist judge," Gastanaga says.

Gastanaga says the opinion offers no real new instructions to local authorities -- and will only serve to inflame the debate over immigration enforcement.

NPR

'Little House,' Big Demand: Never Underestimate Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wilder's memoir reveals that she witnessed more violence than you'd ever know from her children's books. The South Dakota State Historical Society can barely keep up with demand for the autobiography.
NPR

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

The market for single-serving coffee pods is dominated by Keurig's K-Cups. But they aren't recyclable, and critics say that's making a monster of an environmental mess. Meet the K-Cup Godzilla.
NPR

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

When Blue Shield Of California stopped selling individual health policies in many zip codes in 2014, even insurance agents were surprised. Blue Shield says it dropped out to keep premiums low.
NPR

Charles Townes, Laser Inventor, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

Physicist Charles Townes died Tuesday. He was a key inventor of the laser and won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1964. But his career didn't end there.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.