Voters in Virginia and New Jersey elected Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, respectively, as their state's next governors because of concerns for high taxes and a lack of job creation. But both candidates also indicated during their campaigns a commitment for strong state immigration enforcement.
As Virginia's Attorney General, Bob McDonnell supported policies that required the use of E-Verify, barred illegal aliens from receiving in-state tuition breaks, barred illegal aliens from receiving driver's licenses, and allowed local law enforcement to help federal officials enforce immigration laws.
In an article published in the Washington Examiner in September, McDonnell offered his thoughts on immigration enforcement. In the article, he was quoted as saying:
I have urged Governor Kaine for one and a half years to enter into [the] partnership [287(g)]. It would be a proper and limited tool to help us enforce the law.
In a 2006 AG opinion written to a House delegate, McDonnell wrote that if Virginia provided in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, the state would have to offer the same rate to all U.S. citizens, so he opposed it. He also proposed legislation in 2008 that would require state contractors to verify the employment eligibility of its workers.
Chris Christie's opinions on immigration enforcement were revealed in a Philadelphia Inquirer article in September. He didn't offer full support for 287(g), but did oppose driver's licenses for illegal aliens.
I don't want us to be giving out driver's licenses to any people who we can't prove definitively that we know who they are.
In the article, Christie also said he opposed in-state tuition to illegal aliens, saying that only legal New Jersey taxpayers should receive the tuition break.