Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore said yesterday if elected he will go after businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens.
“They are supposed to check for legal status,” Mr. Kilgore told The Washington Times. “If they are knowingly violating the law they shouldn’t be getting state contracts and they should not be getting state credits and benefits.”
His comments come one day after he debated his Democratic challenger Timothy M. Kaine over a host of topics, including the establishment of a day laborer center in Herndon that will provide services for legal immigrants and illegal aliens.
The debate was sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, whose members include local business leaders. Last night, a chamber spokesman had no comment on Mr. Kilgore’s proposal, saying it would be up to individual businesses to weigh in.
Mr. Kilgore also said if elected he would sign an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to train 50 state troopers and give them special authority to detain illegal aliens.
The executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police said Mr. Kilgore’s stance is not realistic.
“We believe you need to be here legally, but in the real world we don’t have the resources to address that,” said Dana Schrad, executive director of the association that represents police chiefs in the state.
“If you take a position we’re going to launch enforcement activities to rid Virginia of all illegal immigrants, it backfires on law enforcement because we don’t have the resources to do that,” she said.