McDonnell Meets With Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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McDonnell Meets With Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce

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By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell's push to allow state troopers to enforce certain federal immigration laws has renewed fears of racial prejudice in some parts of the local Hispanic community.

McDonnell says he won't tolerate racial profiling, but also can't tolerate illegal immigration.

At a luncheon held by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Fairfax, McDonnell told a crowd of business owners that he can't accept illegal immigrants committing more serious crimes, or taking jobs from struggling Virginians.

"What do we say to people who are among those 300,000 that are unemployed in Virginia and can't get a job, and yet there are those who are illegally present, and working and taking jobs away from legal citizens," says McDonnell.

The crowd gave the Governor a warm reception, even if a handful wore pins showing their opposition to his immigration stance.

Wendy Marquezmet met privately with the governor, along with a handful of business owners.

She disagrees with the him on immigration enforcement, but was pleased that he seemed willing to listen.

"I think when you're open to hear the other side, you will be able to make educated decisions later on," says Marquez.

McDonnell told the crowd if the federal government approves the arrangement, known as a '287 (g)' agreement, state troopers would be able to enforce certain immigration laws during investigations of serious crimes, such as rape, murder, and drug trafficking.

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