Va wants tough immigration curb; it's already law

By Bob Lewis

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, July 22 2012 9:12 a.m. MDT

RICHMOND, Va. — The results of last week's Quinnipiac Poll question on immigration were clear and loud: Virginians want a tough Arizona-style law allowing police to check the legal status of those stopped or arrested.

Guess what: a 2008 state law requires officers to check every person they arrest to determine whether they're in the country legally.

Virginia long ago mandated checks on arrests and in many other circumstances, including admission to a state hospital, to obtain a driver's license, Medicaid benefits and, in some cases, employment.

There are dozens of checkpoints aimed at weeding out illegal aliens in Virginia law, and some go back generations.

But that doesn't stop state lawmakers from pushing for more restrictions.

Says the Virginia ACLU's Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, "We've been at this for a long time."

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