Fairfax County police limit assistance to ICE in noncriminal deportations

Police in Fairfax County, Virginia, have further decreased their cooperation in noncriminal deportations under a new order.

In a policy released on Friday, Fairfax County police implemented changes that will limit how officers assist with deportations, as well as change how they ask for identification during stops.

The order states that police will only assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, in criminal investigations. Employees will not be allowed to give ICE officials access to any of their department facilities.

In addition, those stopped by police will be able to provide identification other than a Virginia driver’s license.

The new policy also states officers should only search a person’s information in law enforcement databases for criminal justice purposes and cannot “satisfy any curiosity related to a person’s immigration status. “

No witnesses or victims of a crime are to be arrested under the order for failing to provide identifying information.

The change is in line with the framework as part of the One Fairfax Policy, which promotes countywide racial equity.

Officers will provide “equal services to all community members regardless of known or perceived race, sex, ethnicity, religious preferences, sexual orientation, immigration status, citizenship or national origin, except where otherwise required by state or federal law.”

The change comes after Prince William County’s decision to allow its agreement with ICE to expire on June 30. The agreement allowed jail staffers to alert ICE when officers arrested an undocumented person. It also meant that the county could hold arrestees in custody for 48 hours before transferring them to ICE custody.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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