Sanctuary policies; prohibited. (HB2000)

Introduced By

Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill) with support from co-patron Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sanctuary policies prohibited. Provides that no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. The bill requires each locality to adopt a policy requiring any public contractor with which the locality does business to use the E-Verify program. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17102598D
01/10/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/25/2017Impact statement from DHCD (HB2000)
01/30/2017Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (HB2000)
02/01/2017Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/01/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (8-Y 3-N)
02/03/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 3-N)
02/03/2017Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (14-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2017Committee substitute printed 17105157D-H1
02/04/2017Read first time
02/06/2017Read second time
02/06/2017Committee substitute agreed to 17105157D-H1
02/06/2017Pending question ordered
02/06/2017Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB2000H1
02/07/2017Read third time and passed House (63-Y 33-N)
02/07/2017VOTE: PASSAGE (63-Y 33-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2017Constitutional reading dispensed
02/08/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/13/2017Rereferred from Courts of Justice (12-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2017Rereferred to Local Government
02/14/2017Failed to report (defeated) in Local Government (6-Y 6-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/20/2017Reconsidered by Local Government (13-Y 0-N)
02/20/2017Reported from Local Government with amendment (7-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2017Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2017Read third time
02/22/2017Reading of amendment waived
02/22/2017Committee amendment agreed to
02/22/2017Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/22/2017Defeated by Senate (20-Y 20-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2017Chair votes No
02/22/2017Reconsideration of defeated action agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2017Passed Senate with amendment (21-Y 19-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2017Placed on Calendar
02/23/2017Pending question ordered
02/23/2017Senate amendment agreed to by House (65-Y 34-N)
02/23/2017VOTE: ADOPTION (65-Y 34-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2017Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB2000ER)
03/07/2017Signed by Speaker
03/10/2017Signed by President
03/13/2017Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 3/13/17
03/13/2017G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 27, 2017
03/27/2017G Vetoed by Governor
04/05/2017Placed on Calendar
04/05/2017House sustained Governor's veto (65-Y 34-N)
04/05/2017VOTE: OVERRIDE GOVERNOR'S VETO (65-Y 34-N) (see vote tally)
04/05/2017(67 affirmative votes required to override)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 1 hour.


This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

a little shorter than a short bill. Basically, the bill now reads no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration law. Mr. Speaker, I move we accept the senate amendment.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from arlington, Mr. Lopez.

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington): thank you, Mr. Speaker. Speaking to the bill.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman has the floor.

Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington): thank you, Mr. Speaker. As a national conversation about immigration becomes more heated I thought I would give folks a little bit of history about my father. My tad was run of 22 brothers and sisters from the same parents. Yeah. 22. My grand mother had her first child when she was 14 and the last when she was 44 years old in the and disease andes mountains in venezuela. Not much to do on a saturday night in venezuela in the 1920's. My tad didn't tad dad did not want to be a farmer. He saved $250 in 1950's money to come to the united states and got a tourist visa and came to D.C. And he worked as a bus boy at the madison hotel. Learned english. Graduated from community college when I was five years old and took one class a semester every year at george mason university while working two or three jobs until he graduated from college one month before I graduated from high school. Little thing people don't know about my dad is he was undocumented. He actually overstayed his tourist visa by three months. So he was actually an downdocumented american or undocumented individual. And he decided I will get a green card. In the 1950's bess how many guess how many days that tack him to get? Five days including a weekend. To get a green card. today it takes around 7.5 years is, 13 years if yew are lucky. We have a broken federal immigration system. H.B. 2000 takes us in the wrong direction. This is simply a message bill at its best now. Why? Because there is no clear definition of sanctuary cities nor does virginia have any sanctuary cities. This bill ignores the complicated nature of federal immigration law and could require federal localities to choose between an ayes I.C.E. Detainer. In effect this legislation makes our communities less safe by stoking irrational fears of immigrants and undermining the community police relations essential for true police safety. A recent university of illinois study found that 45% of immigrants documented and undocumented were less likely to report a crime as a result of increased involvement of local police in immigration enforcements. This could lead to avoid police contact for fear that the contact might lead to deportation of a loved one. Not only will immigrants be afraid to report krames as witnesses sore witnesses or victims or cooperate with police, their fear of doing so will make them ease.

[Unknown]: targets for crime. Immigrant women, for example, are already twice as likely to be targeted for sexual and domestic violence. it is critical that they be able to call 911 safely. Here is the thing. Virginia is one of two states already that automatically checks checks immigration status of any one arrest or charged with a krame. And the local and regional jails are required to turn people over to I.C.E. Prior to release date if there is a valid detainer in place. They work with local law enforcement to notify I.C.E. Before the release of an up grant with violent crime conditions. They check for everything arrested if there is a detainer placed against an immigrant acaused of violent crime. Coupled with the federal practice, virginia law ensures that I.C.E. Has notice and plenty of taunt to initiate removal opportunities immediately and before the person's release in the state or federal custody. The exhaustive combination of existing state mandates make the existence of sanctuary localities a legal impossibility in the commonwealth. The burden of federal epiforcement agencies should not be placed on local jurisdictions either, forcing local jurisdictions to act as a substitute for federal agents will place additional and undow costs and demands on resources on localities. I.C.E. Does not reimburse localities from holding individuals past when the would otherwise be released. unnecessary. Ultimately, this about I will is Costly to localities and could make us less safe by undermining local law enforcement. Let's be clear. This bill is dog whistled politics at its best. Created to stoke fare of the other and the idea that those who are different, immigrants and new americans, well, you are unwelcome. Folks, we all know that there are no sanctuary cities in virginia. We also know this legislation is an ugly' tempt ugly attempt to deem dae uponnize and scapegoat immigrants for political gain. We should focus on affordable healthcare and affordable housing. In kind of legislation that doesn't create one job. Doesn't educate one child. It wrong headed. It is ugly. It will drain money from our localities and send the worst kind of message about virginia. Please vote no.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from prince william, Mr. Marshall.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): speaking to the measure, Mr. Speaker.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman has the floor.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): recently I had a conversation with a priest from my parish, who was a legal resident here from bolivia. His pay rents parents were chase the out of their farm because of political unrest there. He conveyed to me as well as father mauricio observations that I dae decided to check out around the community of manassas. It was claimed there was police knocking on doors taking adults away, leaving minors there, that there were road side stops on route 29, route 28, route 28 and 66 in fairfax and a host of other areas. I wrote a letter e-mail to fairfax county police chief, city of fairfax police chief, prince williams police chief, manassas city police chief, and manassas park mischief Miss Police chief I had a conversation. In each case I received the following response back. I'm summarizing. None of these jurisdictions enforce federal immigration law. None of them. So the claim from the gentleman from arlington, I hope he would substantiate it because they are not conducting street sweeps, pulling people every 10th car over and say you look like x where we are taking you out of here. I don't have a birth certificate with me so I couldn't "prove" that I'm an american citizen. When the question comes up of the door knocking and leaving minors there every one of these police chiefs said we would never do that. When I read the washington post the other day, this was the depth of their research and their investigative interest, a woman from chicago said x. A woman from centerville, virginia, said x. No attempt to corroborate. No attempt to verify. This is the media spreading misinformation and a strange attempt to give substance to rumors which I think is very did disin genuine. I.C.E., they do not conduct street sweeps. They don't do it. So I'm curious about the claims here. The only collaboration is in the jails if somebody is arrested. Nobody is being sent back to another country for failure to have their headlights on during a rainstorm. It's not happening. The individuals who are wanted are under what was called the secure communities program. Where did that come from? Through 2014 that was President Obama's program from 2009 to 2014. The trump administration has adopted the policies of secure communities. I don't recall the governor objecting to that. I don't recall the gentleman from air lington air link arlington getting on the floor and denouncing President Obama for his cruelty or whatever. There is nothing wrong with this bill. I will think it should adopt it because right now virginia police are not enforcing federal immigration law. The only ones that are doing it are the jails, the regional jails and local jails.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from rock bridge, Mr. Cline.

Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst): thank you, Mr. Speaker. Speaking to the bill.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman has the floor.

Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst): Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentle men of the house, I hope it would be the pleasure of the house to adopt the senate amendments. Yale confused by the remarks from the gentleman from arlington about what he thinks the bill might do. The lightest touch possible to ensure that the laws of the commonwealth and the laws of the federal government are enforced. This bill is in response to actions taken across this country in certain cities and certain claims made and promises made by certain elected officials here in the commonwealth. Mayors of certain cities. Previous years you have had actual policies adopted by certain cities in the commonwealth of virginia rae related to sanctuary policies. And so all this bill says, is that no locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration law. Restricts. An active word. No locality can act contrary to federal immigration law. It would require that lee locality to take some action before this law is even contemplated. And so, it is my hope that we remember that we are a nation of laws. That the rule of law it critical to the functioning of this county constitutional republic, and of this commonwealth, and I would ask you to adopt the senate amendment.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the the gentlewoman from alexandria.

[Unknown]: thank you, Mr. Speaker. speaking to the senate amendment. the gentlewoman has the has the floor. I spoke against this bill and I rise again to speak against it and some of the things that were said. The gentleman has said there haven't been sweeping raids. I will rehind him about the raid in alexandria. The gentleman were leaving a church and walked across the street and I.C.E. Officials swept in. We truly are a nation of laws and laws should be respected. I also believe we are a nation of compassion. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that in that court's committee on this bill, day verse garoppolos spoke against it. The state police opposes this bill. The aclu opposes this bill. The catholic conference of bishops oppose this bill. I ask this chamber to defeat this senate amendment.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentlewoman from fairfax, Ms. Watts.

[Unknown]: thank you Mr. Speaker. Speaking to the bill.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): gentlewoman has the floor.

[Unknown]: thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the house. As I listened to the gentleman from prince william what I heard again and again was good police law enforcement and community policing knowing how to work with the community to make sure cooperation. that you had the best Let me give you three examples from my district from my experience. example number one from my district. Within the last decade, I don't remember the exact year but there was a murder committed by a day laborer, I believe it actually occurred in maryland. But that case was solved within the week because other day laborers came for the with the information that identified the person who did the crime because they had good relationship and good trust with law enforcement. Example number two which is on the domestic side. For seven years I was the director of the fairfax casa program and as such I always wrote grant applications and one of those -- one of the things I would include in the applications for support was the diversity of the children that we serve in the worst cases of child abuse. We had about 400 active cases in any give be year. And I notice that suddenly where we had been having about 7 to 8% of our cases that were hispanic, it dropped off very, very quickly so only about half of that amount. Now, this was again a good 15 years ago. And it took me more than a year of questioning to find out that the reason for that dropoff in reports of serious child abuse because at that time the feds had changed their policy and now domestic violence was one of those deportable offenses. And the families were left in the dilemma and the relatives of the families were left in the dilemma if we report what is happened to social services, not whether it would actually end up in court or not, but just to child protective services, what will happen is that we will lose the family. We will lose any support that we have. We will -- it was a truly -- it would take the wisdom of solomon to try to decide what to do to totally break up the family or to try to protect the child yourself rather than reporting to authorities. The third example I would give you is the example that we should all be concerned about. I mentioned I believe it was yesterday, dealing with a situation where the same social security number was on record for three different people. And the reason I came to that knowledge was that two of the people were being shaken down, intimidated in every way possible by the third person who was the one who was breaking the law but he was a naturalized citizen. And again, these individuals were afraid to report as this predatory individual got deeper and deeper and deeper into the community and it is that kind of law enforcement situation that is always concerned me as I have represented for almost the last 20 years one of the most ethnically diverse area of the commonwealth. That if we don't make sure that our law enforcement are working closely with the communities, that predatory element will take hold and it will spread out into the broader community. Let me conclude with one last anecdote. I was reading during Dr. Seuss week, went into a second grade classroom and at some point at you read cat in the hat and horton hears a hoo and so on tell the kids what you do. All of the second graders are seated on the floor in front of me. Often times when I talk to children I mention the police because police are something that little kids have seen in the community. But when I mentioned it in that classroom, immediately this little girls happened hand shoots up in front of me and she spoke with no accent, I don't know how long she and her family have been? Been in this country but she asked me once, twice, three times she repeated it, and you make sure police don't hurt people, don't you? What was it in her family history that that little second grade girl was so fearful of? It is that kind of police presence in the communities here in the commonwealth that we need to make sure is a relationship of trust and mutual interest in the fullest possible law enforcement for our public safety. I hope that you will defeat this bill which sends a different message. Mr. Speaker.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from shenandoah, Mr. Gilbert.

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): will the gentlewoman yield for a question?

[Unknown]: will the gentlewoman yield?

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock): I yield.

[Unknown]: I just checked the world population and estimated at 7.4 billion people. The gentlewoman in her and the members of her party have gone to great lengths in my mind to protect the process of unfettered illegal immigration in this country. How many of the world's population of 7.4 billion does the gentlewoman and her party or how many of them are you prepared to accept into this country without consequence? Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman that speaking for myself, in my remarks were to try to give a glimpse into one of the hundred districts that exist in this house of delegates of what the reality is about law enforcement. I only know that those individuals who are in this country we have a mutual interest in making sure that law enforcement is as effective as possible for the safety of our entire community. Mr. Speaker.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from shenandoah.

[Unknown]: will the gentlewoman yield for a further yes? will the gentlewoman yield. Mr. Speaker, I yield. the gentlewoman yields. Mr. Speaker I understand the gentlewoman declined to answer my question directly, I would ask much more simply does the gentlewoman or any member of her party believe there is a line that should be drawn in this regard as far as the number of people we are willing to accept into the country illegally? Mr. Speaker, again speaking for myself as a citizen as I have watched the debate about immigration reform we desperately need immigration reform apartment faster we get about it the better. There have been several efforts I have been hopeful about in the last dozen years but unfortunately in they have all fallen because we are not really looking at what is truly the common good so that we are able to deal I believe and certainly given the type of district that I represent I have gone to a number of seminars and I believe there are 17 different categories of legal presence in this country. Very confusing. We need to deal with the complexity and make sure that the individuals certainly those who we bring in to this country because of the high tech presence of my region, because of the jobs, because of the fact that an individual has graduated from graduate school, under a proper visa, here in this country, and they aren't able to stay and pay back part of that education as a -- with legal presence? These are issues we need to deal with. And it is all part of that complexity in the question of mow how many. Mr. Speaker would the gentlewoman yield for a further question? would the gentlewoman yield? I yield. the gentlewoman yields. I know that often we choose to answer the question in the manner we see fit, and not the question posed but I would at least ask the gentlewoman finally, if she at least disagrees with the prospect whether it be on her behalf offer on behalf of her caucus or her party does she disagree request the notion that we should have laws in the country and that the laws should be enforced. Mr. Speaker, I certainly totally agree and as I used the phrase repeatedly in my remarks, what causes me greatest concern is the predatory element that we must effectively deal with in our law enforcement and in that law enforcement to penetrate most effectively in enforcing our laws we have to make sure that our policies and the bill before us deals with policies that our law enforcement operate under, are those policies that they know to be the most effective.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): the gentleman from fairfax, Mr. Hugo. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to the measure. the gentleman has the floor.

[Unknown]: I had the opportunity I guess it was last year or so I met my colleague's father here on the house floor. And I told him how proud he should be of his son who is living, indeed, the american dream as so many others do but I'm listening to my friend talk time after time about immigration and a confused illegal immigration and immigration. On our side of the ail we are welcoming of immigration. We just say, high wall, wide gate. Everybody come in. And you talked about repeatedly about having compassion and we do. America, we have let in over a million people per year legally. a million people. We are not putting a gate up and saying you can't come in. But here is what I would like you to think about. So 1986 a republican and democrat simpson mazzoli act under President Reagan legalized 3 million people and that was supposed to solve the problem forever. Right now we have between 11 and 20 million people here illegal any in the country. I never hear you talk about the underlying problem. But compassion, we have compassion because we let a million people in a year. What about the compassion of the people that are supposed to solve the problem. What about compassion for the people that have to have their flooding flooding border, the people that live on the border? What about compassion for people thatster to pay. Fairfax county the estimate is probably costs fairfax county $100 million per year to educate kids here illegally. We took 2,000 across, 2,000 a year ago into fairfax. 2,000 times, what, $15,000 a kid? Add it up. Do we have compassion? We are compassion for the I.C.E. Agents who have to fight this day-after-day after day and who are sometimes murdered. But you know what,let , let's also have compassion and remember kate steinly who was killed by an illegal immigrant who came back over the boarder five border five times. we have compassion a million times a year when we let people in and we have compassion but we need our friends on other side to understand and address that there is a problem that you ignore constantly. I hope it would be the will of the body to endorse this measure. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion. the gentleman May state. the move the pending question.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): as many as favor that motion say aye , those opposed no. The question called for and the pending question is shall the bill pass? The clerk will close the roll.

[Unknown]: ayes 65, nos 34. Members, please take your seats.


CASA, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

VACOLAO opposes legislation that puts the burden of federal enforcement agencies on local jurisdictions.

ACLU-VA Immigrants Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

ACLU-VA strongly opposes this bill. Virginia already has some of the strictest laws pertaining to enforcement of federal immigration laws, including status checks for everyone arrested and presumption against bail if there is a detainer placed on an immigrant accused of violent crimes. These type of bills could have an unintended reverse effect of making our communities less safe by forcing local police to void "don't ask" policies relating to crime victims and witnesses in the immigrant community. Virginia should welcome newcomers and promote cooperation between immigrants and local police - not create fear of detention and removal for coming forward to report crimes.

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

ACLU-VA strongly opposes this bill. Virginia already has some of the strictest laws pertaining to enforcement of federal immigration laws, including status checks for everyone arrested and presumption against bail if there is a detainer placed on an immigrant accused of violent crimes. These type of bills could have an unintended reverse effect of making our communities less safe by forcing local police to void "don't ask" policies relating to crime victims and witnesses in the immigrant community. Virginia should welcome newcomers and promote cooperation between immigrants and local police - not create fear of detention and removal for coming forward to report crimes.

Wayne Moyer writes:

This bill would impose additional strictures on local governments. We already have strong lows to address this issue.

Phil Storey writes:

This bill cedes vital state and local sovereignty to federal agencies. It invites the federal government to commandeer local resources in pursuit of federal priorities, regardless of the effects on local communities. How in the world is that a good thing? I can only think that it is motivated by xenophobia. Please defeat this bill!

Kendra Smith writes:

I oppose House Bill 2000 and Senate Bill 1262. These bills would not make our communities safer. In fact, forcing police to enforce federal immigration law will make immigrants less likely to support crimes. This bill, like so many GOP actions, is motivated by xenophobia.

Catherine Carey writes:

If you oppose HB 2000, please consider signing our petition opposing this bill. You can access the petition by copying the following and pasting it into your browser:

Kevin Holland writes:

It looks the committee chair is trying to resurrect this bill in committee and redo the vote.