Democrats in California urged Gov. Arnold this week when to join the governors of Arizona and New Mexico in declaring a “state of emergency” in the Golden State due to the increasing problems created by illegal immigration.
On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger said he supports the actions of his fellow governors but does not think there is a crisis along California’s border. Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said the governor continues to lobby for more federal money and has written a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff requesting more border patrol agents.
She noted that Schwarzenegger also supports the construction of a fence along California’s border with Mexico.
Many of you outside the DC metro area might be surprised to learn that Virginia has reached ‘the boiling point’ in the illegal immigration battle as well. It is now front-and-center of our Governor’s campaign this year.
A bitter local dispute over a day-laborer site in Herndon has swept the town of 22,000 into the national spotlight, where it’s become the flashpoint of the nation’s deep ambivalence regarding illegal immigration. America has generally welcomed immigrants, but many Americans are angry at the federal government’s complete failure to secure the borders in this post-9/11 world. They don’t want to be harsh with poor, hardworking people trying to better themselves, but the trickle of illegal immigrants has become a seemingly unstoppable torrent.
Project Hope and Harmony, a local social service agency, wants $170,000 in public funding to set up shop in a soon-to-be empty police station where 150 day laborers can wait for jobs instead of congregating around the 7-Eleven on Elden Street, a nearby McDonald’s and an Amoco station. Loudoun County officials say their approval will also be needed because the property on Rock Hill and Sterling Road is partially located in a residential Loudoun neighborhood.
[Related Stories: Kilgore, Kaine and Herndon – Washington Times; N. VA Leaders Advise Kilgore to Stay Out of Laborer Debate – Washington Post, High School Stabbing Linked to Gangs – The Sentinel]
By opposing a proposed tax-supported site in Herndon for day laborers, whose ranks include illegal immigrants, the Republican candidate injected himself into a local zoning issue that should be resolved within the town’s borders, the officials said.
Kilgore, a former attorney general, denounced public funding for day laborer centers unless they serve only legal immigrants. He also said he supports legislation to give police the authority to detain illegal immigrants arrested for other crimes and turn them over to federal officials.
On the contrary, “local leaders”, this is precisely what I want my candidate for Governor talking about: the safety of those of us living in a state that has been overrun by illegal immigrants. From the Washington Post:
The day laborers are drawn to Northern Virginia’s robust construction industry, which depends on low-wage workers to meet the demand for home building. Child care, landscaping and janitorial employers and the region’s huge service industry provide jobs for thousands of the estimated 175,000 to 200,000 illegal workers in Virginia.
Arlington established the state’s only tax-supported site for day laborers in the county’s southern end four years ago. In Prince William County, workers congregate at a 7-Eleven in Woodbridge, but officials have declined to spend public money on a permanent site. Fairfax set aside $400,000 in this year’s budget to pay for private outreach workers at the informal gathering place in Herndon, as well as sites in Annandale and Culmore.
Kilgore is on the right track, but our never-seen current Governor Mark Warner (who is a candidate for President in his own mind) should act now and join his Democrat ally in New Mexico and actually *do something* for once.
Governor Warner — DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY!! There is one already… it would be nice if you realized it and acted on this threat to our homeland security at the footsteps of our nation’s capital.
-Bruce (GayPatriot) – firstname.lastname@example.org