Supreme Court Impact On Prince William Co. Immigration | News
MANASSAS, Va. (WUSA) -- Before Arizona's controversial immigration law, Prince William County passed one of the strictest laws when it comes to people who are here illegally.
Jan Alten's former employee of her manassas boutique was deported a year and a half ago.
Alten, "When I purchased the store in a sense I purchased Arnoldo. He came with the store. When I found out Arnoldo was illegal I was angry with him. I told him, I said I'm angry you came under those circumstances but now that you are here we are going to do what can to help you stay but we were not able to."
A 10 year fight for citizenship failed and Arnoldo Paneda was forced back to his home country of El Salvador in 2010.
Prince William County has one of the toughest immigration laws in the country, making it mandatory to check legal status after an arrest and gives the officer discretion before being arrested.
The law has been in place for several years and Lisa Johnson-Firth who's been practicing immigration law for more than a decade says that won't change in Prince William County no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides.
Lisa Johnson-Firth says, "they were careful to construct the third version of their resolution to make it in a post arrest situation only, not mandate that police question someone in a pre-arrest situation. I don't believe Prince William's law will be impacted."
And that's just fine for Delegate Bob Marshall. He filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Arizona immigration statute.
Va. Del. Bob Marshall, (R) 13th District says: "What's at stake here, is our law enforcement capacity to ensure that we can make our streets safe who may not be here legally."
Johnson-Firth says if the Supreme Court upholds the Arizona law she believes it will open the flood gates across the country for similar Arizona laws including in Virginia.
For Alten, She's conflicted between the two opposing thoughts and wishes she was never put in the tough position in the first place.
Five other states have immigration laws similar to Arizona's.
Those laws are already being challenged in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Utah.
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