Cities, Counties, even entire states have encouraged illegal immigration for years through “sanctuary” policies which harbor foreign nationals who violate American law. Under the guise of humanitarianism, these policies are tacit invitations for migrants to overstay visas, or as we have seen in recent years under Joe Biden, flood our Southern Border in hoards that overwhelm our Law Enforcement capabilities.
Worse still, local governments have passed directives for local officials to not comply with Federal immigration police when pursuing suspects. Earlier this year, Arlington County, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, joined the list of jurisdictions to pass such a policy.
“Arlington County this week adopted a “trust policy” that severely limits the instances in which the county can cooperate with federal immigration agents, a measure meant to encourage undocumented residents in the Northern Virginia suburb to seek help from police and use other government resources,” reported The Washington Post. The County Board voted unanimously to pass the measure in July.
According to the text of the measure provided by Arlington County, the “purpose” of the directive is predicated on the “strength” illegal immigration bestows its citizens:
… (the “County”) recognizes that the County’s ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity is a key source of our strength. Our vision is to be a welcoming and inclusive community where every person is important, and every person thrives. The County is committed to protecting the rights of all residents, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status, and to ensuring every person in Arlington has an equal opportunity to participate in our economy.
It states further that, “It is not an appropriate use of Arlington County resources to engage in the enforcement of federal immigration law, which is the sole responsibility of the Federal government.”
Summaries of the most important components of the resolution are below:
- No County employee shall request, record, access, or disclose immigration or citizenship status unless forced by court order or subpoena pursuant to existing laws
- The County says all persons deserve the benefits of Arlington County Police services, therefore County police officers may not question the citizenship or legal status of any person
- The County PD may not detain, investigate, or question any resident strictly due to suspected immigration status
- County police may request ID, but may not enforce federal Immigration law, including warrants & detainers
- County police may notify federal authorities if a suspected illegal immigrant has committed a violent felony, terrorism, human trafficking, or gang activities
- County resources “shall not” be used participating in or assisting with federal or civil immigration enforcement unless required by current law
Since 2015, the Sheriff of Arlington County has been releasing suspects with an ICE detainer request unless a signed, “judicially issued” warrant is delivered upon that suspect’s apprehension.
In response to this story, the Sheriffs Office stated, “that the county jail can and does let ICE know when it is about to release someone with a detainer who has been arrested for a felony,” according to WAPO. In other words, the Sheriff releases suspected felons that are also here illegally unless bound by a court not to.
The situation in Arlington County is not unique in Virginia. In fact, Fairfax County passed a similar resolution in 2021. Are all illegal immigrants a danger to American communities? No. But ultimately, this is a movement driven almost entirely by activists and activist politicians who are putting American citizens, legal immigrants, and Virginia Law Enforcement at risk by playing politics with immigration enforcement and providing havens for lawbreakers and potentially violent criminals in the name of “social justice.”
Image Credit: Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash