Gilbert’s immigrant bail bill dead

Brent Finnegan -- February 22nd, 2007

Del. Todd Gilbert’s HB2322, a bill to deny undocumented immigrants bail, passed the House, but died in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Tuesday. Gilbert, whose district includes ShenCo and the northern tip of RoCo, was not happy about it. From WSVA: “Gilbert was incredulous, saying that the bill amounted to common sense and he couldn’t understand how it could have been killed.”

I think it’s worth noting that Aaron Cook left the following comment on the Richmond Sunlight page for this bill:

I would be interested in any studies to support the conclusion that undocumented immigrants are in fact less likely to appear in court or are a greater danger to the community (the two issues addressed by bail) than defendants who are documented. I am an attorney in a community with a large immigrant population. Anecdotally, my foreign clients are generally more likely to keep in touch with me and to appear in court than my native clients; and my undocumented clients are not a greater flight risk than my documented clients. It used to surprise me, but my undocumented clients charged with very serious offenses keep showing up to court, even through the sentencing phase.

I would also like to see those studies. Not surprisingly, Lohr voted for it. Obenshain, who sits on the Senate Justice committee voted against passing it by.


4 Responses to “Gilbert’s immigrant bail bill dead”

  1. I believe immigration must be addressed. However, knee-jerk reactions based on emotion are usually counterproductive.

    In this case, to suggest that we should forgo the constitutional rights that we have built this country on simply because of our failure to address failing laws in other parts of our society is a classic example of a bankrupt leadership body currently existing at the state and federal level.

    The greatest test of our constitution, bill of rights, and the civil rights we believe in, is whether we have the capability of extending those protections to those not from here. The question is…do we really believe in our guiding documents and principles?

    Just my opinion of course….

  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    If I understand the bill correctly, every time a person with an accent or a brown complexion is arrested, no matter how minor the crime, that person must then provide proof of U.S. citizenship, or else spend the time until trial overcrowding a local jail. I suppose it would be a boon to the native-born wife-beaters for whom there would no longer be room in the cells. Maybe they could form a lobby, with an office in Richmond and everything. Domestic Abusers for Immigration Reform, or DAIR. Cui Buono?

  3. ktr001 says:

    JG, I’m positively sure that Gilbert’s bill is in no way targeting hispanics, but is truly meant to help start remedying the plague that is immigration in our fine land, whether those immigrants be from Mexico, Russia, Africa or Europe. I believe this in the same way that I believe the Sunnis and the Shiites will reach a peaceful resolution so that our troops may come home any day now.

    This bill is just so ridiculous that words cannot properly articulate. Stephen made a good point about really believing in our guiding documents and principles…my own belief is that we do, as long as those guiding documents and principles don’t adversely affect us in anyway. The irony is that Gilbert’s bill would probably actually make things worse for everyone. Jails are already overcrowded, so either taxes would raise to fund building new facilities or seriously violent offenders would be thrown out into the streets to make way for unlucky jaywalkers who didn’t have a greencard. I cant imagine too many people being happy about either of those alternatives.

    Sometimes, the quick fix isn’t the best fix and I sure hope the next person trying to pull a Gilbert has the heart to think about these deeper isssues before acting on the surface ones.

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