Roe 1 v. Prince William County

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In Roe 1, et al., v. Prince William County, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88405 (E.D. Va. Dec. 3, 2007), Judge James Cacheris upheld Resolutions and Orders passed by Prince William County in Virginia designed to exclude illegal aliens.

First the County passed resolutions directing the local police to check the immigration status of suspects when detained for a crime, and then the County adopted a resolution to restrict social services to illegal aliens. It also adopted a resolution that "directs staff to implement processes ... to prevent business licenses from being issued to persons who cannot demonstrate legal presence."

Unnamed illegal aliens asserted that the County's actions caused them economic loss, fear of separation from their families, and other injuries. They argued that the County's "Resolutions and Orders" violated the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution by impermissibly regulating immigration, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating based on immigration status.

They filed suit in the Eastern District of Virginia, the most pro-federal government venue where hundreds of thousands of federal workers reside.

Reagan-appointed Judge James Cacheris upheld the County's actions and dismissing the lawsuit. "Unlike the ordinance in Lozano, the Resolutions and Orders have no effect on the leasing of property, nor do they have any immediate impact on business regulation."

Judge Cacheris ruled that the illegal aliens and their organization lacked standing to challenge the County's rules, because the aliens had not suffered any real injury. He found that the County did not criminalize any conduct that was not already a crime. "Neither the Resolution nor the Orders direct the actions of private citizens or criminalize behavior that was not already punishable by local, state, or federal ordinance, and thus fear of such punishment does not create a cognizable injury."