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Arlington must participate in Secure Communities

By Christy Goodman

Arlington County has no choice but to work with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Secure Communities program.

After a meeting between county and federal officials, County Manager Barbara M. Donnellan wrote a memo to the county board which said, "ICE stated clearly -- and with finality -- that local activated communities do not have the option of withholding information from the program, although communities can opt not to learn the results of immigration queries."

The Secure Communities program shares fingerprint information between county and federal databases to identify illegal immigrants.

Two options communities have are to not learn the results of the immigration database results and not sharing fingerprints. Both of these options are not acceptable to Arlington, Donnellan said, because sharing this information is "crucial to effective law enforcement" and helps "identify dangerous criminals."

Donnellan reiterated that the program could "foster fear and mistrust of local law enforcement" within Arlington's diverse community.

"I want to clearly state that while Arlington will continue to comply with all federal and state laws related to immigration, no resident or visitor should fear interacting with Arlington County law enforcement officers. Their mission is to provide for the safety and security of all people, and everyone's cooperation and support are vital if we are to continue to be one of the safest, most welcoming and inclusive communities in the country," Donnellan said.

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously in September to opt out of the entire federal program because it violated civil rights and liberties, according to the resolution.

By Christy Goodman  | November 5, 2010; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington County, Christy Goodman  
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"The Arlington County Board voted unanimously in September to opt out of the entire federal program because it hosed the civil rights and liberties of American citizenes paying the tax bills for illegals."

Arlington pandering politicians s u c k!

Posted by: Patriot12 | November 6, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The effort by Tejada and other Arlington County Board members to undermine immigration enforcement was outrageous -- but not surprising.

As an Arlington resident, I am once again embarrassed by our one-party County Board. They consistently pander to nearly every left-wing cause imaginable (subsidies for rental housing and rental bicycles, hostility to motorists, higher taxes and costly public works projects, lack of support for law enforcement, and more).

Congratulations to ICE and the Obama Administration, for standing up to the latest bizarre request from out-of-touch politicians in Arlington.

Posted by: jrmil | November 8, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I support the federal govt's Secure Communities Initiative and I'm glad it's in my county. We should applaud the efforts of ICE to prioritize the most serious offenders. However, we must reject the argument that less serious offenders need not be deported.

ICE must continuously improve enforcement and any illegal resident that comes in contact with any law enforcement officer is subject to deportation. Our goal must be to work toward zero tolerance for illegal immigration, secure our borders, ports, and improve internal security.

I imagine drug smugglers distrust the police as well as human smugglers, bank robbers juvenile delinquents, etc. Everyone in violation of the law distrusts the police. At some point in time, the law must be up held or changed. I'm not in favor of changing it and I want the law enforced.

I want to be confident the police enforce immigration laws and take action against everyone here illegally.

Visit the NumbersUSA website and help fight illegal immigration.

Posted by: magyart1 | November 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

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