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Homeland Security sued over illegal immigrant records

Thursday - 8/4/2011, 5:49pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Prince William County is suing the Department of Homeland Security for the second time over the release of records on illegal immigrants.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart says the county still has not received information on what happened to more than 4,000 illegal immigrants turned over to the federal government since 2007.

They were transferred from a local jail to federal custody, but Stewart says 10 percent of them have been re-arrested in Prince William County for other crimes.

He considers them a "threat to the community."

"Every one of these individuals was convicted of a crime for which they were arrested, so these are not traffic violations," Stewart says.

The county first sued Homeland Security six months ago trying to get information on the release of Carlos Montano, an illegal immigrant accused of driving drunk in an accident that killed a Benedictine nun one year ago.

He was released from federal custody despite a previous DUI charge.

In 2007, Prince William county adopted a strict policy of checking the immigration status of everyone arrested.

Prince William county has tried to get information on those transferred inmates using the Freedom of Information Act, but Stewart says the response provided by Homeland Security was incomplete.

A spokeswoman for the agency says they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)