- The Washington Times - Friday, September 1, 2006

A new Culpeper Town Council member says illegal aliens are hurting the quality of life in the Northern Virginia community and has proposed several laws to stop the trend.

“I have witnessed the infestation of illegal immigration occurring here for some time, putting a strain on our resources and the negative appearances of illegal laborers congregating,” Councilman F. Steve Jenkins said yesterday.

Among the laws proposed by Mr. Jenkins, who took office July 1, is one to limit the number of families living in single-family homes, according to the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

Mr. Jenkins said yesterday he supports making English the official language of the government. He also wants fines for employers who knowingly hire illegals and landlords who rent to them.

Some residents say the measures are aimed at the small town’s burgeoning Hispanic population — many of whom are illegal.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and council member Christopher H. Snider have called the proposals discriminatory.

Several Hispanics will march to town hall today to present the mayor with a petition asking the council to decline Mr. Jenkins’ proposal, organizer Martin Bernal said.

They also will likely attend a town hall meeting at which Mr. Jenkins plans to suggest creating a task force to study laws to help deal with illegals in the community.

The situation is similar to another earlier this year in Manassas.

City officials there suspended enforcement of a law that would have banned extended families from living in the same house, amid an outcry from residents and civil rights group who said the measure targeted Hispanics.

Delegate David B. Albo, a Fairfax Republican and critic of illegal immigration, doesn’t think Mr. Jenkins has authority to enact such laws at the local level, but said he supports the initiatives “100 percent.”

Mr. Albo has passed bills in the General Assembly that bar illegals from having a driver’s license and public benefits and that crack down on the use of fake documents to prove legal status.

He is working on a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to enter the state without legal status.

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