The ACLU of Virginia urged Virginia police chiefs and sheriffs today to ignore a recent opinion from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that says police officers can question individuals about their immigration status during a stop or arrest.
She said the Cuccinelli opinion likely would lead to racial profiling.
"Being in Virginia, I can tell you that given our race history, we're very sensitive to not allowing for racial profiling, not allowing the kind of abuse of the legal process as happened in the '40s, '50s, '60s [which] we had to work our way out of frankly, through the '70s and on," Cuccinelli said.
"The way we avoid it in this situation is we apply the same rules to everybody."
Cuccinelli noted that the new Arizona immigration law required law enforcement officers to inquire about immigration status. Cuccinelli's opinion said that Virginia's law enforcement officers may make such inquiries, but they are not required to do so.
He said he expects that local governments around the state will devise their own policies for how their police and sheriffs should proceed.
Also today, Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said he is asking Congress to subpoena Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for information about criminal illegal aliens that ICE is no longer taking into physical custody.
Carlos A. Martinelly Montano is charged in the crash with third-offense driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and driving on a revoked license.
The three nuns were less than 4 miles from their spiritual home at the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia monastery near Manassas when their car was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by Montano, a native of Bolivia and an illegal immigrant.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security opened an investigation Tuesday into how an illegal immigrant managed to avoid deportation, even after repeated arrests before Sunday's crash.