Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued a ruling on a Virginia state law that allows police officers to check the immigration status of individuals stopped or arrested.
Cuccinelli's ruling comes after Prince William County Delegate Bob Marshall asked for clarification on a law passed in 2008. The law is similar to one of the provisions in Arizona's immigration enforcement law that allows local police officers to check the immigration status of individuals stopped or arrested for another offense. Arizona's provision, which was blocked by a federal judge last week, requires local police to check immigration status, whereas Virginia law simply allows local police to check immigration status.
"Virginia law enforcement officers have the authority to make the same inquiries as those contemplated by the new Arizona law. So long as the officers have the requisite level of suspicion to believe that a violation of the law has occurred, the officers may detain and briefly question a person they suspect has committed a federal crime," Cuccinelli ruled.
In Virginia, any ruling issued by the attorney general is considered law unless overruled by a judge.
Prince William County has enacted a law that require its officers to check immigration status of individuals stopped or arrested if they have reasonable suspicion that the individual is in violation of federal law.