On January 12, 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided it was not a sanctuary county, took a vote to that effect, and ordered web sites that incorrectly identified Fairfax County as a sanctuary be contacted and informed that it is not a sanctuary County. End of discussion.
Not so fast. A feel-good vote is one thing but what is the reality? I went to a community meeting at West Springfield HS in January or February in 2009 or thereabouts. At the time, I was running the Neighborhood Watch program in Kings Park and Chief David Rohrer wanted to talk to attendees about crime, the state of the County, etc., but it was raining really hard so there were only 8 or so people there. He began late and after his talk asked for questions. My question, asked in a leading manner, was “Who decided to have the police no longer ask for proof of citizenship at traffic stops?” The Chief admitted the police would not ask for this proof any longer (they used to!) because the cops were so overworked they didn’t have time. I pressed by asking whether this was Gerry Connolly’s decision from the time he was Chairman, and Rohrer hemmed and hawed but said he wouldn’t blame Connolly. Then I asked whether he, Rohrer, came up with this policy, and his reply was that he and Connolly sort of jointly decided to do this.
What is the state of affairs today? Have Fairfax County police officers been instructed to ask for proof of citizenship at traffic stops and accidents? From personal experience I can say the answer is NO. On March 23, 2012, my son’s car was hit by an illegal alien who gave the responding officer a “World Driver’s License” that he said he purchased for $20 in Manassas. Since there were no injuries, the officer told me though she knew the driver was an illegal alien, she was not allowed to ask for proof of citizenship let alone call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The officer confiscated the fake driver’s license, told the illegal alien he could not drive his car home, and left. She told me and my wife that was all she could do, per Police Department rules, and drove away after taking an accident report. The illegal alien also drove away a short time after the officer left.
There is a federally funded program commonly known as “287g” (named for that section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 signed by Bill Clinton) that teaches local police how to make immigration status decisions on the spot and is incredibly effective. If an illegal alien is encountered, the police can then either call an ICE agent to come pick up the illegal alien or the officer take her/him to jail and call ICE from there.
How has Fairfax County benefited from shielding illegal aliens from ICE? It costs the County upwards of $13,000 to educate a single student in the public school system, and many from illegal immigrant families require English as a Second Language instruction to keep up in school. Who do you think pays for that? How many people have been injured, killed, impregnated, robbed, etc., because of cities and counties protecting illegal aliens? Human trafficking is now here thanks to MS-13, a gang largely comprised of Central American immigrants.
Will Fairfax Police renew their participation in ICE’s 287g program? Just holding illegal alien felons for a day or two at local jails after ICE places a detainer on them is not enough to prove Fairfax in not a sanctuary county. There is no half a loaf here; either you are or you are not a sanctuary for illegal aliens. There is a lot of federal money at stake here … $100 million? … , dear Board of Supervisors. Don’t lose it because you won’t cooperate fully with ICE in enforcing the law of the land. When, not if, the next drunken illegal alien plows his/her car into someone and kills her, will you hold yourself responsible in any way?