N.Va. enforces immigration laws as Ariz. rages

N.Va. enforces immigration laws as Ariz. rages

By: David Sherfinski
Examiner Staff Writer
April 29, 2010

(Brig Cabe/Examiner file)

The national outcry over Arizona’s immigration law is nothing new for Prince William County residents — hundreds ofpeople on both sides of the illegal immigration debate poured into marathon public hearings in fall 2007 when the county was passing its crackdown.

Since then, the county has turned over more than 2,000 suspected illegal immigrants to the federal government, and crime last year reached a 15-year low.

Other Northern Virginia jurisdictions also have turned over hundreds of suspected illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement through their own programs.

But law enforcement officials remain wary about their new roles enforcing federal law, and immigration experts and immigrant advocates warn that such steps can have negative consequences, such as racial profiling and a loss of trust with local police.

 Local partnerships with ICE  


Jurisdiction program
Manassas 287(g)
Manassas Park 287(g)
Herndon 287(g)
Loudoun County 287(g), Secure Communities
Prince William County 287(g), Secure Communities
Frederick County, Md. 287(g)
Fairfax County Secure Communities
Prince George’s County Secure Communities
Alexandria Secure Communities
Arlington County Secure Communities

Implementing Prince William’s crackdown involved drafting a legally soundpolicy and training hundreds of officers, as well as conducting a significant community outreach program with more than 300 meetings, said Deputy Police Chief Barry Barnard.

“It was a new role for us,” he said. “Traditionally, local law enforcement doesn’t enforce immigration laws.”

The county partnered with the federal government under the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement officials to enforce certain immigration laws.

Prince William’s original proposal was so sweeping that it asked county officials if it would be possible to keep illegal immigrants off county roads and away from the county Web site.



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