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For instance, prosecutors alleged Carlos Martinelly Montano, a man in Prince William who was awaiting a deportation hearing from ICE, killed a 66-year-old nun and injured two other nuns in a drunken driving incident in Bristow, Virginia.

Mr. Martinelly Montano was only required to check in with ICE once a month as he waited for his hearing. He had a history of reckless driving arrests and citations, including two previous drunken driving offenses, prosecutors alleged.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 for the fatal crash.

Another issue, according to Mr. Stewart, is that if an individual turned over to ICE by the county appears on the streets again, local law enforcement don’t know what ICE’s ultimate ruling was or if the person has even received a decision yet.

“We would expect there’s a certain percentage of those individuals who were allowed to stay in the United States,” Mr. Stewart said.

As a result, police who encounter someone previously sent to ICE face the dilemma of wrongfully harassing someone who was allowed to stay or potentially letting someone reside in the country illegally after already being deported.

Some, like members of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, saw the 2007 law, billed as helping strengthen the community, as disruptive.

“It was an oversimplified understanding of community safety,” CAIR Coalition Legal Director Heidi Altman said. “Behind every ICE detainer and every deportation is a family and a community that’s broken apart.”

Ms. Altman also rejected the idea the county might be concerned with whether ICE has detained enough people, saying that the worry enforcement was not harsh enough was “not founded.”

“The immigration enforcement that we have seen in the intervening years has been unprecedented in scope,” she said.

This is the second time the county has sought to pressure DHS for information on people turned over to ICE. In 2011 the county went to federal court with a similar request, but the judge ruled that the county and ICE had not exhausted other options to release the information.

The county has maintained requests for information for years since the initial ruling, demonstrating its efforts to get information without court intervention.

Mr. Stewart said litigation may be the only option left for the county and that he hoped a new suit would end with a different conclusion than the 2011 effort.

“This time we’ve learned from our past mistakes,” Mr. Stewart said.