Virginia law enforcement officials can ask the immigration status of those they stop or arrest, the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ruled.
In a legal opinion written in response to a request from conservative Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), Cuccinelli ruled that police officers and other legal authorities can look into the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested.
A 2008 Virginia law requires that law enforcement check the immigration status of anyone taken into custody on suspicion of having committed a crime. Cuccinelli’s opinion could expand such inquiries to those who have been stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation or at a police checkpoint, for example.
Virginia activists are seeking enact legislation similar to that adopted in Arizona that required law enforcement officials ton ask about the immigration status those they have “reasonable suspicion” might be in the country illegally.