Prince William County won’t seek extension on agreement with ICE set to expire June 30

After 13 years, Prince William County, Virginia’s, agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be allowed to expire June 30.

The controversial 287(g) program allows people arrested for crimes to have their immigration status checked at the county jail.

It enabled jail staffers to alert ICE when officers arrest an undocumented person and meant the county could hold arrestees in custody for 48 hours before transferring them to ICE custody, WTOP news partner InsideNova reported.

At a Wednesday meeting of the Prince William-Manassas regional jail board, which oversees the program, no one put forth a motion to extend the program.

During discussion, County Sheriff Glen Hill, who is chairman of the jail board, voiced his support for the program and said he thought it made the county safer.

“This program has operated very quietly in Prince William County. We had no complaints about it,” Hill said.

But Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard said he hasn’t seen any hard evidence that the program has reduced crime in the county.

“I do wonder if this program has run its course,” Barnard said.

Virginia Del. Elizabeth Guzman, who is an immigrant from Peru, said immigrants don’t like the program.

“It created division, and many of us, many people who look like me, left the county because of that,” she said.

Hill said he would entertain a motion to extend the program, but no one offered one. So, at the end of the meeting, Hill said, “Receiving no motion, the program ends on June 30, 2020.”

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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