PHILADELPHIA – A review of Sen. Timothy M. Kaine’s stewardship of Virginia as well as his Senate record finds that the politician seems to fit right in to Hillary Clinton’s agenda of comprehensive immigration reform and policies that favor illegal immigrants.
Speaking in Spanish on Sunday, Kaine promised a Telemundo interviewer that a Hillary Clinton administration will start work on comprehensive immigration reform “in the first 100 days.”
“Hillary is going to do that in the first 100 days of her administration,” Kaine stated. “She is going to make a big effort in Congress to get reform passed, and with my experience in the Senate, with bipartisan colleagues, I am going to work hard — especially in Congress — to help this effort, and other issues, too.”
Kaine is known to switch to Spanish when speaking about immigration reform. In 2013, he famously delivered a pro-immigration reform speech in Spanish on the Senate floor, a first for the Senate.
State Funds for Illegals
Kaine has been a fixture in Virginia Democratic politics since 1994, when he served on the Richmond City Council. He was mayor of Richmond from 1998 to 2001, was Virginia lieutenant governor from 2001 to 2005 and served as the state’s governor from 2006 until 2010. He was sworn in as a Virginia senator in 2013.
Back in 2005, the issue of illegal immigration took center stage in the campaign when he was lieutenant governor running for governor of Virginia. Kaine pushed back when Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore argued state funds should not be used to encourage illegal aliens.
At the time, Fairfax County was considering establishing a center at the cost of $170,000 where private businesses can find day laborers – including illegal immigrants.
Kaine dubbed Kilgore’s position against the publicly funded center “a mean-spirited effort to go after people who are trying to make a living and to go after local officials who are trying to deal with a tough problem.”
That year, there were an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 illegal immigrants living in Virginia, an increase of 50,000 from data collected one decade earlier.
That election season, the Washington Times summarized Kaine’s policies on illegal immigration thusly:
The Kaine campaign also accused Mr. Kilgore of attempting to penalize business owners “for the sake of political grandstanding,” and said that the enforcement of immigration laws should be left to the federal government. In essence, Mr. Kaine’s position seems to be that until President Bush and Congress can be roused to do something to prevent illegal immigration, a do-nothing enforcement policy in Virginia is fine with him.
Mr. Kilgore says he will mobilize the state police to work with federal authorities to apprehend and remove illegals. During his tenure as attorney general, Mr. Kilgore opposed driver’s licenses and lower in-state tuition rates for illegals; Mr. Kaine largely refrained from saying anything on the subject, while the administration headed by his political ally, Gov. Mark Warner, lobbied largely behind the scenes to kill or water down meaningful reform in both areas.
In sum, Jerry Kilgore can be counted on to do his best to oppose illegal immigration, while Tim Kaine will do his best to keep Virginia an illegal-alien-friendly state.
The crux of Kaine’s argument was that illegal immigration is the problem of the federal government and should not be settled at the state level.
Accepting unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors; sanctuary cities
The state of Virginia has had mixed policies regarding illegals. In 2014, Breitbart reported that more than 2,850 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors were placed with sponsors in Virginia.
One small town that year pushed back against and ultimately scrapped a plan to house illegal children in Lawrenceville, Virginia, a town of 1,400.
In 2015, Roanoke joined the Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative, also known as Welcoming America, a pro-illegal alien outfit that pushes for “inclusive communities across the nation” and aims to “build a different kind of community — one that embraces immigrants and fosters opportunity for all.”
Welcoming Cities & Counties was recognized as a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment to Action organization.
In 2007, the Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC released a list of what it claimed were countrywide sanctuary cities for illegals, which included the following Virginia cities under Kaine’s governorship:
• Alexandria, VA, where “…the City and its various agencies will neither make inquirers about nor report on the citizenship of those who seek the protection of its laws or the use of its services.”
• Arlington, VA (Added 11-3-15. Source: Arlington, VA opts out of federal immigration program, 9-28-2010)
• Fairfax County, VA.
• Virginia Beach, VA (With his qualifying note: The city adopted an administrative directive on 8-1-08 allowing VBPD limited authority to inquire about immigration status. Based on this directive, the city disputes its sanctuary status. Despite the directive, the city has not provided statistical evidence of enforcement to date.)
In 2009, SanctuaryCities.Info listed Fairfax County and Virginia Beach among the state’s so-called sanctuaries for illegals, whereas the Center for Immigration Studies currently lists only Chesterfield County for Virginia on its map.
In 2007, the Associated Press reported that although Virginia Beach was not included in a 2006 Congressional Research Service report of 32 cities and counties having “sanctuary policies,” Virginia Beach still had illegal alien-friendly policies:
A 2005 Virginia Beach Police Department policy forbids officers from asking the immigration status of defendants charged with misdemeanors. Police Chief Jake Jacocks Jr. has said the policy is meant to encourage illegal aliens to report crimes without fear of retribution.
Virginia under Kaine has developed a serious problem with criminal street gangs consisting in significant part of illegal aliens, although law enforcement authorities have made headway in cracking down.
The Center for Immigration Studies in 2008 collected the following statistics from criminal gang suppression efforts in Virginia:
•25-50% of all gangsters arrested in northern and western Virginia are estimated to be deportable aliens. Gang investigators estimate that 90% of the members of MS-13, the most notorious immigrant gang, are illegal aliens.
•More MS-13 members have been nabbed in Virginia than any other ICE jurisdiction in the country (261 arrests out of an estimated population of 2,000 in the state). Nearly 80% of the 341 ICE gang arrests in Virginia were members of MS-13. The remainder belonged to 28 other gangs.
•Immigrant gangsters are responsible for serious and often violent crimes in Virginia. Nine of those arrested by ICE in the last three years were murderers, and six were sex offenders. Their most common crimes were assault and robbery/larceny.
•62% of alien gangsters arrested in Virginia by ICE were from El Salvador, 12 % were from Mexico, and 10% from Honduras.
In May, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on the significant problem of illegal aliens and crime, documenting statistics of illegals in state jails:
The reported number of illegal immigrants housed in Virginia’s local and regional jails over the past eight years would easily fill 2½ towns with the population of Ashland, or well exceed the number of people living in Colonial Heights.
But the true figure assuredly is much higher — likely by many thousands.
The 19,882 illegal immigrants that the state’s local and regional jails reported were behind bars for various criminal offenses between 2008 and 2015 does not include tens of thousands of other inmates whose immigration or citizenship status could not be definitively established.
Nor does the tally include an undetermined number of additional inmates that some jailers failed to accurately report as required by Virginia law, a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis has found. For example, a “clerical error” by one Northern Virginia jail resulted in more than 1,000 illegal immigrants not being reported to the state, records indicate.
When running for the Senate in 2012, Kaine announced, “I’m a DREAM Act supporter,”
“We want youngsters who are in this country not to be locked into underachievement, but to be overachievers. They’ll create more opportunities for others if they can have that status,” he said.
He supported S.744, also known as the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” the last immigration reform bill to pass the Senate.
On his Senate website, Kaine outlined his stance on immigration reform, including his support for the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs.
I also support efforts to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs. Since DACA was announced in 2012, the program has offered temporary relief from deportation to over 660,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as young children, including nearly 10,000 who call Virginia home.
For far too long, our immigration system has placed undue burdens on legal immigrants and kept millions of others living in the shadows of our society. I support a bipartisan approach to immigration reform that will provide a better visa system to encourage growth of a talented workforce, enhance our border security, create a path to normalizing the legal status of those here unlawfully – following compliance with various requirements such as payment of taxes and a fine – and establish a better system for companies to verify the immigration status of their employees.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.