Virginia eyes plan to deport illegals

State legislatures can hold employers accountable “through licensing and similar law.” However, even a proposal to deny business licenses to employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens probably would face legal challenges, Mr. Benos said.

Other areas, such as the role of local and state police officers in enforcing immigration law, are more ambiguous.

“It is not clear what the state’s role is in enforcing immigration law,” Mr. Cleator said.

Delegate David B. Albo, commission co-chairman, expressed frustration that state lawmakers’ hands essentially are tied by the federal government, which doesn’t enforce its laws.

“We have this whole package of laws that would work if the federal government did anything, but they don’t,” said Mr. Albo, Fairfax Republican.

The task force also heard presentations from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who described the national crime databases and other resources available through the Homeland Security Department. ICE officials also discussed efforts to crack down on immigration-related fraud, one of the major incentives for illegal aliens to come to the United States.

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