Woodbridge, VA - Corey A. Stewart, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County and Republican candidate for Governor, held a press conference in Richmond today and praised the Texas Legislature on final passage of a bill requiring local law enforcement to honor all federal requests to detain those suspected of being in the US illegally until ICE resolves their status.
Stewart went on to pledge his support for a similar bill in Virginia.
"I'll sign into law the Virginia equivalent of TX SB-4 which would make it a criminal offense for any local, state, or university official to declare their county, city, or university a sanctuary for criminal illegal aliens," Stewart opened the conference.
"Law enforcement officials are trying to do their jobs to remove criminal illegal aliens," Stewart continued, "so when a locality refuses to cooperate with federal authorities and to comply with federal law, that person is breaking federal law, and they should be penalized for it."
"Virginia's general assembly should move to make it a criminal offense for any elected official to declare their locality a sanctuary city," Stewart said.
"I began advancing this issue in Prince William County in 2007, and the result was that violent crime was reduced by nearly half and over 7,500 criminal illegal aliens were removed from Prince William County", said Stewart of his 10-year tenure as Chairman.
Stewart added, "When we started our teamwork with ICE in Prince William County - a 'majority minority' county of nearly a half million people - we were attacked by the usual liberal groups. However, we are proud to say there has not been even one instance of racial profiling or impropriety in this program in all these years. What we have is a safer community for everyone, including the many law-abiding, productive legal immigrants living here."
"Governor Abbott identified prohibiting sanctuary cities as an "emergency" priority for the Texas legislature, and he was right. We have the same emergency right here in Virginia. When Richmond most recently called itself a sanctuary city for criminal illegal aliens, it thereby simultaneously signaled - for the sake of political correctness - that to lawfully present Virginia families who want to be safe will have nowhere to hide from the criminals sheltered by the city."
"I will lead on this issue as Governor. Our Virginia bill may be different than the one Gov. Abbott is about to sign, but this WILL be quickly addressed when I take office. Others talk, but I deliver," concluded Stewart.
A "sanctuary city" is one whose elected officials restrict the ability of law enforcement to cooperate with ICE in apprehending illegal aliens, including those arrested or convicted of additional crimes in the community.
Supporters of the Texas bill say some local officials simply refuse to honor lawful detainees, so the bill provides for penalties for police chiefs and sheriffs who refuse to cooperate with ICE and prohibits localities forbidding police from asking about the immigration status of those detained for reasonable suspicion.