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Latino Daily News

Monday January 24, 2011

Virginia Delegate Looking to Introduce 3 Bills confronting Undocumented Immigration

Virginia Delegate Looking to Introduce 3 Bills confronting Undocumented Immigration

Photo: Del. Todd Gilbert of Virginia

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Tuesday, Republican delegate Todd Gilbert of Virginia, introduced three bills to the state’s General Assembly in his attempt to confront undocumented immigration.

One of Gilbert’s bills, HB 1775 is meant to tell taxpayers how much it costs each of them to allow undocumented children in Virginia’s public schools.

Gilbert’s says HB 1775 is not meant to identify each undocumented child, but rather, determine the cost of educating them.

“It would have the benefit of giving us a pretty good snapshot how much money is being spent on children who are not here legally,” said Gilbert. “[It’s] helping fix our broken immigration system.”

Almost 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that every child in the country is to be educated, regardless of their immigration status, but Gilberts said, “The cost of educating kids illegally far and away exceeds the minimal cost to get a headcount.”

Gilbert’s other two bills include House Bill 1777, and HB 1781.

HB 1781 would make anyone who actively participates in or is a criminal member of a street gang, a Class 5 felon. While HB 1777 makes the manufacturing of fake birth certificates a Class 6 felony, and no longer a misdemeanor.

Fellow Republican delegate Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William County said additional bills include:

• have state police perform certain federal immigration law-enforcement functions

• ban state departments or employee from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws, require citizenship or legal presence for public assistance

• make any crime committed in associate with street gangs a Class 5 or Class 4 felony, require the Secretary of Public Safety to establish an information exchange program with all border states to share intelligence on gangs, terror organizations and other illegal activity

• make manufacturing, selling, or transferring a fictitious birth certificate a Class 6 felony, ban illegal immigrants from enrolling in any public institution of higher education in Virginia

• require the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel any license, permit, or special identification card it has issued to an individual if it is notified by a federal government agency that that individual is an illegal immigrant

Lingamfelter said he hopes the bills will strike the federal government to take action rather than “stand by and watch the situation deteriorate.”