Members of the Immigration Strategy Group, meeting at CIF on March 2, learned that on March 14 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution to strengthen support for all immigrants in Fairfax County, and to clarify county policy on immigration law enforcement.
Centreville resident Marge Landis reported on a meeting with Clayton Medford, aide to Board of Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova, who said that the Board will consider an immigration resolution at its regular meeting on March 14. Terry Angelotti, Executive Director of CIF, urged that Fairfax residents attend this meeting or otherwise express their views to members of the Board of Supervisors.
Bulova made a statement early this year, supporting diversity in Fairfax County, but the County has not responded publically to recent changes in federal enforcement.
Representatives of 13 non-profits, advocacy groups, and faith communities in Northern Virginia and Prince William Counties met with the Immigration Strategy Group at Centreville Labor Resource Center on March 2 to learn about current immigration enforcement procedures and shifting federal immigration policy. Immigration attorney Lisa Johnson-Firth reviewed details of current federal memos and administrative orders, and answered questions from the group.
Changes in federal enforcement in the past few weeks have affected Fairfax County residents: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) teams have conducted raids that affected residents without criminal records, and not only persons without documents but also persons who are legal residents (“green card” holders) and even some persons who are citizens. These random raids based on ICE administrative warrants were conducted at multiple places in the county. They have created fear and uncertainty that affect businesses and schools. They have made immigrants fearful of sending children to school and seeking services for which they are fully entitled.
Strategy Group members urged that Fairfax County police policies be clarified. Lieutenant Alan Hanson of FCPD (Sully District) clarified that FCPD does not ask for immigration status in traffic stops.
Cases of hate crimes and bullying have spread nationally and made all immigrants fearful for their safety in Virginia. Strategy Group members agreed on the importance of an official county statement, supported by concerned citizens.