A new, somewhat surprising contrast between the Republican candidates for Attorney General came to light at Saturday's debate sponsored by the Virginia Federation of Republican Women.
In response to a question regarding illegal aliens and undocumented workers, John Brownlee said he strongly supports "the use of the U.S. government's E-Verify system." Brownlee supports making the use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the Commonwealth, including the state government, in an effort to reduce the number of illegal aliens in Virginia. E-Verify is a proven and effective resource for employers to verify citizenship / residency status and screen out illegals who are seeking employment.
In a response to the same question, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli said he opposed requiring private employers to use E-Verify, suggesting the system was too flawed to be reliable.
As one conservative analyst put it, "Our political leaders cannot hide behind the '[E-Verify] needs further improvement' mantra forever, because doing so is the functional equivalent of not enforcing the prohibition against hiring illegals in the first place."
Brownlee also stated "As Attorney General, I will encourage our General Assembly to mandate the use of instant verification methods by our state agencies and all private employers. The mandatory use of such measures by all employers will be a major step forward in Virginia's fight against illegal immigration.
"As the only candidate for Attorney General who has worked first-hand on the problem of illegal immigration, I know the effect this problem has on our communities and the budgets of our cities and counties. Requiring the use of E-Verify would send a strong message to those who may come here illegally that Virginia takes our immigration laws seriously."
Brownlee noted studies that estimate as much as four percent of Virginia's current population are illegal immigrants.
Phyllis Schlafly wrote, "E-Verify has been proven to successfully verify employees queried through the system within five seconds. Opponents of this program, to date, have been unable to find a single instance in which legal U.S. citizens have lost their jobs due to an E-Verify error."
Former Reagan White House Communications Director Patrick J. Buchanan recently wrote, "E-Verify is a smashing success with an accuracy rate of over 99 percent that holds out promise of a day when every employer in America will be able to ensure that every employee is an American or someone authorized to work here....Isn't this what we all want, what we have all sought -- an easy, verifiable, non-intrusive, inexpensive way for businesses to assure that those they hire are in our country legally?"
Brownlee added that by implementing E-Verify and reducing the number of illegals coming to Virginia, both businesses and taxpayers will save money and reduce costs.
Brownlee also applauded the efforts by Republicans in Congress requiring that firms receiving "stimulus bill" monies use E-Verify for all employees on stimulus projects. Efforts to do so were thwarted by liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
"It is absolutely appalling that the Congress will not require the beneficiaries of this new spending to be either citizens or legal residents of this country," said Brownlee.
Brownlee recognized the efforts of the Republican members of Congress who are fighting for a strengthened, improved E-Verify system. "It is an outrage that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are thwarting efforts to sustain and improve the E-Verify system. I will do whatever I can to support our Congressional Republicans in their efforts to strengthen and continue this critical program."
Brownlee noted that Democrat Senator Mark Warner voted recently with the Reid / Pelosi liberals to kill an amendment by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to expand and extend the E-Verify program for another five years.
Brownlee said the liberal Democrats' control of the federal government - and their refusal to embrace solutions like E-Verify that would help the U.S. get control of our borders - means it is absolutely critical that Virginia act to mandate E-Verify use across the Commonwealth.
"As United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, I identified and deported illegal immigrants from Virginia. I also had the great honor, on several occasions, of presenting legal immigrants to a Federal Judge for the purpose of administering the Oath of Citizenship. We do a grave dishonor to those who have come here legally when we fail to enforce our immigration laws. E-Verify is a critical component in that enforcement, and I will urge the General Assembly to mandate its use in Virginia.
"As Virginia's Attorney General, I will never forget that we are a nation of immigrants; but we must also never forget that we are, first and foremost, a nation of laws."
Folks, this blogger is sold on Mr. Brownlee's excellent cotribution to society thruout his magnificent career. And I do believe that John has just begun to sink his heels into his life in public service we can believe in.
John Brownlee is a solid conservative who understands the danger to our nation posed by illegal immigration. As United States Attorney, John was on the frontlines of the crackdown against illegal workers in Virginia. As Virginia's next Attorney General, John will lead the fight to halt illegal immigration. John will push for a strong, mandatory employment verification system, and he will use his office to insist that the Federal government enforce our nation's immigration laws. I am pleased to endorse his candidacy.
Former Congressman & Presidential Candidate
Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado)