Cuccinelli's Immigration Opinion Raises Concern
An immigration law expert says she’s concerned about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s recent opinion on local police power to deal with illegal immigrants. Manuel Quinones reports from Washington.
Attorney General Cuccinelli says police in the Commonwealth may look into the immigration status of people they’ve stopped or arrested. Attorney Joan Friedland with the National Immigration Law Center warns police against reading too much into the opinion.
Friedland: The opinion is misleading. The summary at the beginning of it seems to give Virginia police broad authority to do investigations about immigration status, but when you actually read the opinion, what it authorizes is much narrower than that.
The opinion differentiates between civil and criminal immigration law violations. It also requires police to have a requisite level of suspicion a law has been broken.
Senator Mark Warner says he’s also concerned about Attorney General’s Cuccinelli’s opinion.
Warner: There had been a ruling prior, even under my administration, where police forces that wanted to could inquire at the moment of arrest. This broadens that, which raises some concerns with me.
Warner says the opinion shows the need for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. But the tight legislative calendar and the increasing political gridlock is making meaningful debate this year unlikely.
From Capitol News Connection, Manuel Quinones, WCVE News, Washington