Bedford County murder case raises new immigration concerns

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Victor Rodas, Jose Coreas-Ventura and Lisandro Vasquez are not citizens of the United States, but they're accused of carrying out a violent murder here.

The trio is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Raymond Wood, a teenager from Lynchburg who was found dead in the Goode area of Bedford County Monday night.

WDBJ7 spoke with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Saturday, who said people living in the country illegally that commit crimes need to be deported.

"Anyone who comes illegally here and commits a serious criminal offense should not be in our country," McAuliffe said, while adding that violent offenders make up only a tiny fraction of the estimated 11.4 million foreign nationals currently living in the United States.

"They're hard working and they've been here," McAuliffe said of undocumented immigrants. "They're part of the fabric of our communities and the mosaic tile of who we are as an immigrant nation."

McAuliffe made those comments after meeting with a group of "dreamers," a term referring to people who came to the U.S. illegally when they were very young.

Students from eight different colleges spoke with the Governor Saturday at Virginia Tech.

"Students from all over the Commonwealth were able to share some of their worries, experiences, and concerns that they have about immigration policy," said Juan De-La-Rosa, president of "Tech Dreamers," an organization that hosted Saturday's event with McAuliffe.

"The big problem we have is we need a pathway to citizenship," McAuliffe said. "We need immigration reform."

McAuliffe said the state needs a balance: respect for people who want to be citizens but need time to follow the process, while remaining tough on those who carry out violence.

"Let me be very clear. If you come here illegally and you commit a very serious criminal offense, you are going to be deported," said McAuliffe.