The Washington Post reports the Virginia Panel on Immigration, created by Govenor Kaine, has come to realize that immigration is an issue that must be dealt with by the Federal Government.

RICHMOND — Virginia, known for some of the nation’s toughest policies on illegal immigration, appears to be abandoning its hard-line approach as state officials consider proposals to help foreign-born residents assimilate, including increasing the number of English classes.

In the coming weeks, the Virginia Commission on Immigration will send Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) two dozen recommendations, most of which would help immigrants instead of penalizing them.

During the General Assembly’s session this year, the number of immigration bills introduced was the highest in recent years, but most measures died. State and local governments found that they could do little to resolve the issue.

“This is really a federal issue,” Watkins said. “They have . . . pushed it down toward the states, and the time has come for them to deal with it. We have no jurisdiction.”

What was especially interesting is the realization that as a “wedge issue”, illegal immigration was a losing issue. As has been pointed out several times on antibvbl, 20 respresentatives from the “immigration caucus” lost their seats in this election.

Creedon said commission members recognized that in the past some immigration proposals were raised for “political purposes” and could not be enforced. “They wanted credit for taking a tough position, but you knew they wouldn’t be implemented,” he said.

Those on both sides of the issue say interest in immigration has waned because of the growing economic crisis, a clearer understanding of the state’s limitations on a largely federal issue and backlash at the voting booth.

“I think some reality set in,” said state Sen. John C. Watkins (R-Chesterfield), the group’s chairman.

Here are some of the recomendations by the committee. Imagine that, a formal committee actually created to determine, with expert advice, a reasonable path to deal with immigration issues. Reminds me of what our county LACKED when dealing with immigration.

The Immigration Commission spent more than a year writing recommendations for Kaine after public hearings that included expert testimony and comment from legislators and the Virginia Crime Commission. The proposals would have to be adopted by Kaine, the General Assembly or Congress.

The commission proposed increasing the number of English classes and creating a plan to address the needs of foreign-born residents. It also urged the federal government to compile more complete immigration statistics, increase the number of visas for foreign workers and pass comprehensive immigration legislation.

64 thoughts on ““Va. Panel on Immigration Steps Back From Hard Line”

  1. NotGregLeteicq

    Second Alamo, I addressed this politely on another thread and even Lucky Duck said I said it well (I was addressing Michael but I don’t think he ever replied).

    I have no problem with you being proud of being Caucasian, or preferring the company of other Caucasians. It is human nature to some extent, I suppose, to prefer your own kind.

    But it’s not true that even the most liberal people would notice a multi-ethnic setting and think “something is wrong here.” If anything, I notice when the setting is entirely all one race. I notice when it’s all White people, I notice when it’s all Black people, etc. I feel most comfortable, and I notice the LEAST when the setting is multi-ethnic and multicultural.

    That’s the place where we differ, you and I. Our comfort zones are opposite from one another. That’s why I don’t like laws and police measures that are designed to push our community toward the way you prefer it to be, and you don’t like global trends and manifest destinies that are pushing things the way I prefer them to be.

    But getting back to what I said to Michael: I am very happy to see Caucasian people who are proud of their ethnic heritage, be it English, Italian, German, Irish, or whatever. I think they SHOULD do that. Where I am a little sensitive is when I see people who claim to be “Patriotic” when they speak of an “American” as if there is a very rigid definition of what it means to be an “American.”

    Both of your posts about your stroll through the mall subsume a rigid definition of “American” that basically translates in to Caucasian and English-speaking. I’m really not down with that, because your definition excludes me, it excludes many of my friends, and it is just not in touch with the reality of who we are as a nation, who we have always been, and who we are becoming.

    That said, I welcome you to express your opinions here as often and as openly as you feel comfortable. You and your views are an important part of this country and this community. These are not fighting words, but just an expression of two different views.

  2. Blog Hog

    –If anything, I notice when the setting is entirely all one race.–

    Me too, NGL. I actually notice demographics quite a bit, everything from ethnicity to gender to clothing. Language is only one aspect. If I’m the only “white person” in a group, sure, I feel a little weird but I don’t resent those around me for it. It’s not like they are TRYING to make me feel uncomfortable.

  3. Red Dawn

    Giggle, I agree with SA( in response to his comments @ 20:01) and posted these videos a couple of days ago .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b6OnR_oyKM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmCWLYsSOjg

    Speaking of Italy, I never made it to a mall there in my 3 weeks. ( do they have those?)
    I made it to the street markets ( AWESOME!!!) or to the stores in Rome, which would be something like Old Town Alexandria or DC…

    Anyway, speaking about being in a place where you are uncomfortable. I went over there and thought, I don’t speak a lick of Italian but I have always been accused of being one by speaking with my hands and will fit in. LOL
    I did good the whole time I was there.LOL!!!! It was like the game charades. I also learned that they knew English too…regardless, it was fun.

    Speaking of SA’s comment of going to the mall not being able to understand . When I was in Italy, we went to some celebration and there were fireworks that went bad. We were on the waterfront and the ashes drifted ( from the island they were coming from) and were falling on people still burning!
    I felt HUGE panic as everyone was speaking their native tongue and where I was relying on hand and face gestures to get by, had no hope! LOL ( can you picture that?)
    Everyone was running and peoples clothes were on fire. I just ran and thought how and the hell do I get help?

    Makes me think of this song AGAIN…LOL
    it is like saying read my lips under water 🙁 scary! 🙂

  4. Moon-howler

    NGL, don’t forget that many of us grew up in a time when diversity wasn’t as accepted as it is now. Look at cities like Baltimore and to a greater degree, Philly. Even the white people were divided along nationality lines. They lived in the Irish section, the Italian section, the Polish section, the Jewish section.

    Regardless of how much many of us try to be acceptant of people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, sexual orientations, (what did I leave out?) it isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

  5. Moon-howler

    PaP, I think you are right. There are probably other reasons also. I feel that speaking in another language to just one or 2 other people rather than the group is right up there with whispering, at times.

  6. NotGregLeteicq

    M-H, it truly is difficult to imagine having grown up in a time when segregation was preferred and seen as the norm. The reality is that every year another bunch of kids who couldn’t imagine that world become old enough to vote. I really don’t think segregation is coming back into style. It’s interesting to learn about it though.

    BTW, does Jackson Miller’s silence mean he agrees with the findings of the commission? Can we trust him to work for this community’s best interest in Richmond now? I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t “Mr. BVBL.”

  7. ShellyB

    I do not remember the Segregation Era but I only have to go back 10 years or so to remember when Virginia was more like the place Second Alamo is longing for when he says we ought to be alarmed by the sound of another language or the sight of racial diversity while shopping.

    I have witnessed people open up with racial slurs during disputes over parking spaces. I have seen families quietly file out of restaurants when they realized no one was ever going to serve them, but no one had the decency to tell them they would never be served.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would want to return to a time when such things were commonplace.

  8. Moon-howler

    NGL, Lots of people today live where segregation is the norm. I have friends in rural sections of Washington and Oregon that just have no minoirites. These people pussy foot around and act like they don’t notice a person is a member of a minority group when they are around them.

    It isn’t just growing up at a different time. Much as to do with where you live.

  9. Moon-howler

    Shellyb,

    It all depends on which side of the desk you are sitting, I suppose.

  10. ShellyB

    Well, if you look at the way Virginia voted according to region, and you look at the same map for the whole United States, you’ll find that yes, those places where there are few or no minorities will vote for regressive policies, and vote for regressive candidates. But they will no longer have a national party to rely upon to provide regressive policies because the Republicans are too smart to do the same thing and expect a different result.

    In Virginia, and in the nation, you’ll just have a faction of Republicans wanting to regress to segregation era race relations, and that will result in a few members in the House of Representatives and a handful of Senators representing that view. It’s not a viable political strategy, thus we have not to worry that it might succeed. It will most likely be dropped all together. Or else, it will fail one or two more times and then be dropped.

    The malls will never be Caucasian again around here, I’m afraid. And the trend is to the rainbow coalition everywhere else too.

  11. Moon-howler

    The folks I am thinking of in the west live in regions that voted democratic even though they live in very homogenious white regions. They are open minded they just are unaccostomed to diversity. They are not comfortable with it up close and personal but are ok with it conceptually.

    I have an on line friend who is a Lakota Indian. I have a running argument with him about people on the east coast not being prejudiced against Indians. He refuses to believe it. It is one of those situations.

  12. NotGregLeteicq

    M-H, How could anyone be prejudiced against Native Americans?! What did they ever do to anyone?

    Shelly, if people who lived in mostly Caucasian areas all voted Republican, Obama could not have won. Remember, it all started with the Iowa primary. Iowa is like 95 percent Caucasian. Obama won a higher percentage of the Caucasian vote nationally than Gore or Kerry, and that with states like Mississippi with 88 percent of Caucasians voting for McCain.

  13. Moon-howler

    There is a lot of Indian prejudice in the plains and vice versa. My friend told me he even hated cows. It is very difficult to be friends with a person who is predisposed to think how are supposed to feel, in his mind. I rarely talk with him now.

    People did bad things to each other. People and their cultures have long memories. As an east coast person, I just don’t get in to all that crap.

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