In a letter today, the ACLU of Virginia has urged Gov. Terry McAuliffe to veto House Bill 1468. Patroned by Del. Robert Marshall (R-Fairfax), HB1468 is an unconstitutional, confusing "message" bill. Virginia already has some of the toughest laws regarding compliance with federal immigration law. Everyone's status is check when arrested and there is a presumption against bail for immigrants with detainers who have been accused of serious crimes. As well, federal courts have already declared that, absent a criminal warrant, people cannot be held in local jails for violation of civil immigration law. This bill also creates a conflict between a judge's order to release someone on bond for a minor crime and the local jail official's refusal to release that person except to federal officials. It is not the job of sheriffs and jail officials to enforce immigration law.
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