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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Immigration Laws Get Nasty in VA

My practice manager brought a series of recent develops to my attention today that I thought would make a good blog post -- illegal aliens in the state of Virginia pay heed. If you are not legal, you need to contact a good law firm immediately (let me recommend Hanover Law PC). The Washington Post and many other online resources reported several new measures that recently passed in the VA House of Delegates. While these are not yet law, they will almost assuredly pass and be signed into law within the next 90-180 days.

(This list is from NumberUSA, a blog site tracking immigration issues)

HB 1430:
would require sheriffs to inquire into the legal presence of anyone arrested, independent of whether they were taken into custody at a jail, and require federal immigration queries on self-professed non-citizens. It passed 72-to-27.

would require state colleges and universities to adopt written policies that prohibits the admission of known illegal aliens. The bill passed 75-to-24.

HB 1468:
would require state agencies that issue social services to verify that anyone seeking those services is in the country legally. The bill also authorizes the Governor to withhold funding of any agency found to be issuing social services to illegal aliens. The bill does not indicate a specific verification tool that can be used by state agencies, but does indicate that applicants must present a valid social security number that will be verified through the Social Security Administration.The bill passed 83-to-16.

HB 1651:
would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel any license, permit, or state ID of an individual who is known to be in the country illegally. The bill was passed unanimously.

The most critically important potential law from the above list is HB1430. This allows the police to question anyone who is arrested as to their legal status. Another interesting potential law that was passed in the House of Delegates (but not listed above) was one authorizing police to exercise certain Federal investigatory prerogatives related to immigration. The law would allow the police to inquire into the legal status of anyone they stop for any other legitimate reason (for example, a simple traffic stop), even if there is no arrest. I don't believe that law will pass; however, the climate in the state of Virginia is not good for immigrants who do not have proper documentation!

What can you do if you do not have proper documents? Contact us immediately! Let us help you get back on to the proper footing. There are many programs available to assist individuals get "legal", and even when there are not, understanding the law, and what steps need to be taken to protect yourself, is critical.

Sean R. Hanover, Esq

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