Delegate Miller says Senate ‘let us down’

Jeannette Porter

Capital News Service
Delegate Jackson Miller, R-Manassas, was clear about how he felt after a Senate subcommittee killed his legislation and other House proposals to crack down on illegal immigration.
“The state Senate has let us down again,” he said. “They’ve chosen political correctness and expediency over public safety. More Virginians will die, and more will be raped, as a result of their actions – or should I say, failure to act.”
Miller’s comments came on the heels of an impassioned address to the House of Delegates in which he reacted to the Feb. 10 shooting in Manassas that left three people dead and three wounded. Police have charged Jose Oswaldo Reyes Alfaro, a native of El Salvador who was in the U.S. illegally and ordered deported in 2002.
In his speech to the House on Monday, Feb. 14, Miller called the crime a “violent heinous atrocity.”
“My city is falling apart,” he said. “What else is there to do but stand and scream?”
Miller cited eight instances since 2007 of violent crimes committed by “illegal criminal aliens with previous contact with the Virginia police.”
From 2000 to 2010, the number of Hispanics in the city of Manassas has more than doubled. In Manassas Park and Prince William County, the number of Hispanics has tripled.
This session, Jackson sponsored House Bill 1934, which sought to allow Virginia State Police to work with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in enforcing federal immigration laws. On Wednesday, the immigration subcommittee of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee killed the proposal.
“My bill had to do with illegal immigrants who are committing crimes,” Miller said. “The fiscal impact would have been minimal.” He believes that federal authorities are doing the right thing by offering localities the cooperation of ICE in enforcing immigration law, but said “it’s up to us to ask.”
Miller said that his bill was not anti-Latino but anti-criminal and that it had broad constituent support.
“I’ve run three elections in the last five years. My district is a swing district; it went 60 percent for Obama and 60 percent for McDonnell. The polling on the immigration issue is overwhelmingly in favor of cracking down on criminal illegal aliens.”
“A huge cross-section of my district supports it. African-Americans support it. I’m working with the Latino community as hard as I can. The majority of the Latinos in my district are here legally, but the politically-correct forces you saw at that subcommittee hearing are convinced that the bills are anti-Latino. They’re not. I’ve tried to emphasize: We’re dealing with criminal illegal aliens.”
Miller said he believes that had his bill cleared the subcommittee, it would have passed 30-10 on the Senate floor. He has not given up, either: “The Redskins are a pretty lousy team, right? But guess what? They beat the Packers, who won the Super Bowl. That’s why they play the game, every Sunday. And that’s why I play this game, Monday through Friday.”

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