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Area police lack policies to deal with illegals
Question of the Day
The board unanimously voted July 10 to require police officers to ask about immigration status in all arrests if there is probable cause to think that a suspect has violated federal immigration law. The board gave the police department 60 days to establish standards of probable cause and methods by which officers can determine lawful presence.
Prince William police also plan to pursue training authorized under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows state and local law-enforcement agencies to work with federal officials to identify and detain illegal aliens.
The town of Herndon last month became the first locality in the region to complete 287(g) training. Staff at the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center recently completed training, and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of formalizing a training agreement with ICE.
Herndon’s memorandum of agreement with ICE describes the authority of 287(g)-trained officers, who may interrogate a suspected illegal alien about immigration status and charge illegal aliens who commit certain crimes for immigration violations.
The Loudoun sheriff’s office does not have a separate written policy on enforcement of federal immigration law, but follows the Code of Virginia, spokesman Kraig Troxell said.
Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said ICE training will establish appropriate standards and procedures.
“I don’t want to get into a situation where we say, ‘Any time you come across someone who looks or talks like they’re not from around here, run a background check,’ ” he said.
By Michael P. Orsi
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