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Virginia backs immigration check

Aug. 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM   |   Comments

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RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Virginia law enforcement officers can check the immigration status of anyone stopped for any reason, the state's attorney general says.

Ken Cuccinelli II told a news conference in his opinion Virginia law enforcement has the authority to inquire about immigration status as long as the duration of the stop isn't extended by any significant degree, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"Virginia law enforcement officers have the authority to make the same inquiries as those contemplated by the new Arizona law," Cuccinelli said.

Previously, law enforcement officers in Virginia were required to investigate the legal status only of those who were arrested or jailed.

Cuccinelli issued the opinion in response to a request from Republican lawmaker Robert G. Marshall who sought clarification on whether police, conservation officers and zoning officials could inquire about legal status.

Marshall has asked Gov. Robert McDonnell to codify Cuccinelli's opinion through executive order.

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