The northern Virginia county official who has submitted model legislation of a tougher state illegal immigration law has started raising money to push for the measures, which are similar to Arizona's embattled law.
Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman Corey Stewart established the Virginia Rule of Law political action committee Thursday. The aim is to support candidates who back bringing the law to Virginia -- and work against those who don't -- in the November 2011 election.
Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked portions of the Arizona law, but Stewart said he wasn't deterred.
Stewart said he wants legislation that -- like Arizona's law -- would direct police to determine the immigration status of anyone an officer has a "reasonable suspicion" of being in the country illegally. He also backs a fee for sending money out of the country and banning undocumented immigrants from registering a car or buying real estate.
Similar reforms passed three years ago in Prince William County helped drive away illegal immigrants, Stewart said.
"My intention is to make it so difficult to live and work in Virginia as an illegal alien that they simply leave," he said.
Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, a lobbyist for the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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