Fairfax Co. sheriff ends agreement to hold inmates wanted by ICE

FAIRFAX, Va. — Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid said she is ending an agreement with federal immigration officials to hold inmates longer than their criminal jail sentence.

Since 2012, when the contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was signed, Fairfax has kept inmates wanted by ICE for up to 48 hours, to facilitate the possibility of deportation.

In a statement, the Sheriff’s Office said it “will no longer hold inmates past their release date unless an ICE administrative request to detain the inmate is accompanied by a criminal detainer issued by a court.”

Kincaid told ICE officials of her intentions to terminate the agreement in a Monday meeting.

Last month, ThinkProgress reported 663 inmates that had been held in the Fairfax County jail were turned over to ICE between January and October. The number is more than twice the 258 who were sent to ICE during the entire previous year.

According to ThinkProgress — which received the jail records under a Freedom of Information Act request — most of those deported were from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Asked for comment, a spokesperson said “Sheriff Kincaid is away from the office for  a meeting that will run all day and evening. Her schedule for tomorrow is the same.”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said she is pleased with Kincaid’s decision to end the contract.

“The Sheriff and her deputies operate the county jail and are not federal immigration officials,” Bulova said in a statement.

The official termination date of the intergovernmental agreement will be March 23, 2018, after the mandatory 120 days’ notice.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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