By BEN MEYERSON
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2008) - Ten groups from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., announced Thursday they're joining forces to fight illegal immigration in the region surrounding the nation's capital.
The newly-formed Capital Area Alliance Against Illegal Immigration hopes to pool the resources and knowledge of member organizations to end what it calls "political and legislative support for illegal immigration" in the region.
"Crime, unfortunately, doesn't know political boundaries too well," said Greg Letiecq, executive director of Save the Old Dominion and leader of the Virginia branch of the Alliance.
Chuck Floyd, head of the organization's Maryland arm, agreed.
"We're going after them with this particular group and trying to coordinate policies in the region, because we find that Virginia, Maryland and D.C. are not on the same sheet of music when it comes to enforcing policies," he said.
Floyd, Letiecq and Washington branch leader Bill Buchanan praised some of the Virginia General Assembly's recent political moves, including passing bills that revoke the license of a business found hiring illegal immigrants and to deny bail to illegal immigrants.
Maryland and Washington could benefit from adopting policies like Virginia's, Letiecq said.
"As the impacts of different policies between jurisdictions become more obvious, it's going to be important to help citizens of Maryland understand what the solutions are that are working in Virginia," Letiecq said.
Maryland Delegate Victor Ramirez, D-Montgomery, saw the organization as an attempt for the groups to increase their numbers to gain more leverage.
However, the multi-state hierarchy of the Alliance might end up causing the group trouble, Ramirez said.
"I think their plan may backfire on them," he said. "In Maryland, it's a more progressive state than Virginia, and if we see people from Virginia meddling in Maryland's policies, I think it's going to galvanize support against people who advocate these Draconian policies that create hate."
The Alliance's founding member organizations are the American Border Patrol, Defend D.C., Help Save Loudoun, Help Save Manassas, Help Save Maryland, Judicial Watch, the Maryland Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Save the Old Dominion, Vienna Citizens' Coalition and the Virginia Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
Capital News Service contributed to this report.