2.01.2007

Virginia's Jackson H. Miller Pushes 'Black Codes' for Immigrants

No wonder former Senator Georgie Allen (R-VA) felt free to denigrate a Virginian of East Indian heritage by using a racial slur ('Macaca') while also suggesting that the young man wasn't authentically Virginian.

Virginia appears to be home-base for a number of Georgie acolytes, including Virgil Goode (R-Richmond) and the anti-immigrant caucus of the Commonwealth's House of Delegates led by Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas).

In what can only be viewed as the revenge of the racists, the anti-immigrant wing of the Virginia House of Delegates has pushed through a proposal to strip charities and other organizations of state and local funding if any of the money is used to provide services to undocumented immigrant families.

(See Va. House Approves Bill On Illegal Immigration, Washinton Post, January 31, 2007.)

Charities such as Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army will have to ignore their missions and discriminate based on immigration status. But in a hint of what's to come if the proposals are made law, a spokesperson for Catholic Charities said: "We don't stop services to look for documentation." And the Salvation Army said that it would have "to tighten its belt" in order to continue fulfilling its purpose to serve the needy.

Miller's goal is clear as day: "...to make the commonwealth of Virginia an unwelcome place if you are in this country illegally."

Believing that immigration is a winning issue for Republicans, Miller and his anti-immigrant caucus have proposed over 50 anti-immigrant laws. Miller narrowly won his seat in a special election in Prince William County in which immigration was the major issue.

The proposals harken back to the days of the Black Codes, a rash of local and state laws and regulations enacted in the 1800s designed to severely restrict the presence and activities of African Americans.

Decent Virginians can't possibly support becoming the leaders of the 'Immigrant Codes' movement, so I expect stiff opposition to the forces of hatred. For example, immigrant rights advocates said that taken together, the bills are mean-spirited and contribute to a growing bias against Latinos, who make up 6 percent of the state's population.

A. Donald McEachin (D-Richmond) says, "I think they have put together an agenda that says we are going to beat up on illegal aliens, regardless of their status as children or adults."