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Immigrants Face County Crackdown

Posted Jul 6, 2007 4:03 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Illegal immigrants wouldn’t be able to go to public schools, get free medical care or check out library books if Virginia’s second-largest county approves an anti-immigrant measure that is among the toughest in the nation.

Prince William County is likely to approve the resolution on Tuesday, although it could be revised before adoption, the Washington Post reports.

The resolution requires county schools and other agencies, including libraries and medical clinics, to deny services to illegal immigrants. It also directs police to check the residency status of any lawbreakers, even those charged with minor offenses such as speeding.

A law firm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform helped draft the resolution, which gives citizens right to sue the county if its agencies fail to enforce the law.

The measure may be vulnerable to legal challenge, according to Kathleen Walker, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She told the Post that the ban on education for undocumented aliens is not permitted under a 1982 Supreme Court decision.

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