Arlington Co. Sheriff’s Office ends cooperation with ICE

The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail in the Virginia county, is ending its voluntary cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In a letter to local activists and lawyers, Sheriff Beth Arthur says her department will no longer recognize any “voluntary action” requests from ICE, nor place the information in the Sheriff’s Office’s records management system.

Arthur said she will continue to honor any judicially signed warrants from ICE.

“While there is more work to do to achieve all possible protections for people at risk of criminalization at the county level, this is a major win for Arlington County migrant communities,” immigration nonprofits La ColectiVA, Legal Aid Justice Center and National Lawyers Guild said in a statement.

“We hope that this ongoing community effort will be a model for an ‘Arlington way’ where the people, particularly those who are most harmed by state violence in its different forms, are part of decision-making and leading changes toward truly just, safe and strong communities.”

The move comes after the Arlington County Board approved a “Trust Policy” in July, limiting police cooperation with ICE this summer.

“Big ups to La ColectiVA, Legal Aid Justice Center and National Lawyers Guild and all the other advocates who made this happen,” Brad Haywood, founder of Justice Forward VA, said in a tweet.

Critics say cooperation with ICE in the past has lead to unjust detentions and deportations.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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