Immigration laws, federal; enforcement by State, political subdivisions, or localities. (HB1421)

Introduced By

Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Enforcement of federal immigration law by the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.  Provides that no agency of the Commonwealth, political subdivision of the Commonwealth or locality, or an employee of any of them acting in his official capacity, may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. The bill also provides, in a second enactment, that the Governor may withhold the appropriation of state funds under his control to any agency, political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or locality in violation of this act, or to any agency, political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or locality whose employee is in violation of this act, in an amount deemed sufficient to ensure compliance, and shall release the funds to the entity when compliance is achieved. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


10/25/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11100326D
10/25/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2011Assigned Courts sub: #3 Immigration
01/28/2011Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 2-N)
02/03/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1421)
02/04/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (15-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2011Read first time
02/07/2011Read second time
02/07/2011Committee amendment agreed to
02/07/2011Engrossed by House as amended HB1421E
02/07/2011Printed as engrossed 11100326D-E
02/08/2011Read third time and passed House (73-Y 26-N)
02/08/2011VOTE: PASSAGE (73-Y 26-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2011Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/11/2011Assigned Courts sub: Immigration
02/14/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1421E)
02/22/2011Left in Courts of Justice


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 5 minutes.


VACOLAO, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

This so-called anti-sanctuary proposal will do nothing but encourage vigilantism by individual state and local employees. Federal law already makes it a criminal act to interfere in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. There is no evidence that any Virginia jurisdiction is in violation of the federal law, and no evidence that there is any need for or benefit to passage of this kind of legislation. The bill is an invitation to insubordination. VACOLAO opposes this legislation.

robert legge writes:

Perhaps someone could provide evidence that there is currently a problem and that this proposed law would fix it.

Edward Summers writes:

This bill is unconstitutionally vague. How is a locality to know that it is "limit[ing] or restrict[ing] the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law"? By choosing not to become immigration officers, local police are not limiting or restricting enforcement of the federal laws, which are by definition federal. Arguably, the local police are choosing to prioritize local policing and public safety over ancillary enforcement of federal law. By choosing not to criminalize gathering in public in order to seek work, a locality is not limiting the enforcement of federal law. If ICE wants to raid a job site, they can. The intent of this provision seems to be to force localities to become immigration agents, but that is prohibited by federal law outside of the limited roles allowed through the 287(g) program. So-called sanctuary cities merely choose to leave federal law to the feds, they do not restrict the feds from enforcing that law. There is no evidence that any locality has restricted the enforcement of federal law and, if passed, this bill would be too vague for localities to be able to determine which actions, if any, would violate the proposed law.