Senate committee revives, advances controversial immigration enforcement bill
Friday morning, before a sparsely attended meeting of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee, an undocketed bill that had been heard and passed by indefinitely at a previous meeting was revived and ultimately reported on a straight party line vote.
Without warning, committee chairman Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) reopened debate on Delegate Bob Marshall’s (R-Prince William) bill, HB481, requiring localities to detain indefinitely undocumented immigrants with a view to transferring custody to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “All this bill does is send a hostile message and tie localities’ hands. We all agreed last week, when we first voted on it, that this is a federal issue. These brochure bills, that do not solve a problem, hinder the ability of local government to serve constituents in the most cost effective manner possible.”
Said Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), “This bill is just a cheap shot at Attorney General Herring who helped save our local governments from unnecessary expenses at the request of Virginia’s Sheriffs. We need to stop demagoguing immigrants and focus on measure that will truly improve public safety.”
Said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), “The lack of transparency surrounding this morning’s vote is astounding. For a closed bill to be brought back up again without warning is unacceptable. This is partisan shenanigans at its worst and I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues allowed this to happen.”