Virginia Bills Meet Resistance From Immigration Advocates

February 10, 2011 - Armando Trull

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Virginia immigration advocates are mobilizing against the 10 bills passed in the House of Delegates that target undocumented workers and students.

Edgar Aranda Yanoc, of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, says his group is lobbying state senators to defeat the measures.

"A Virginia with this kind of legislation is unwelcoming to diversity, is unwelcoming to everybody who is different and also is not good for the economy of Virginia," Sanchez says.

Fairfax Delegate Dave Albo sponsored a bill to find out how many undocumented students are attending Virginia Public Schools.

"The bill does not, just gives information, it doesn't give their names or anything. It just says how many people are citizens, how many people are legal residents," he says.

Albo says the federal government should pay for the cost of educating undocumented students. Another bill would ban undocumented students from state colleges.

Melanie Maron Pell says the American Jewish Committee will also lobby against these measures.

"We're really concerned about the path toward racial profiling that this could lead us down, and we're extraordinarily concerned about the denial of access to educational opportunities for the best and the brightest," Pell says.

The bills are now under consideration in the Virginia Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

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