A Virginia police officer was suspended and is being investigated for holding an illegal alien for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The illegal immigrant was involved in a traffic accident and the officer detained him after seeing he had an outstanding warrant for evading a court date regarding his immigration status.
"The officer found that one driver did not have a Virginia Operator's license and obtained the driver's information to conduct a check to verify the DMV record," the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) Media Relations Bureau announced. "During the query of the driver's information, the officer received notification from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), that the driver was wanted by ICE for an administrative violation warrant on file for the failure to appear for a deportation hearing."
To enforce immigration law or not – that is the question
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)
Abraham Hamilton III, general counsel and public policy analyst for the American Family Association, says it's a sad state when a police officer is punished for helping federal immigration agents do their lawful jobs. The former criminal prosecutor has a question for the Fairfax County (Virginia) police chief.
"… What if there was a federal warrant for a drug case or for another type of case? Would you have reprimanded and suspended the officer then?" he asked on American Family Radio. "It's a sad state when you have an officer … being reprimanded for following what would normally be considered standard protocol: you have an outstanding warrant and you have him detained on an outstanding warrant."
Hamilton contends the police chief clearly didn't even want to allow due process as it pertains to immigration violations.
Meanwhile, the new mayor of Chicago is standing behind her police department's policy advising officers not to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security, particularly in situations involving immigration arrests.
According to an internal memo obtained by Fox News, instead of assisting DHS upon request, Chicago police officers are instructed to wait for their supervisor to arrive. And once the supervisor arrives, "if the request is to assist with an immigration arrest or detention, CPD personnel will leave the scene as directed by the CPD supervisor."
Several Chicago police officers told Fox News that they have historically assisted federal agents and that this new policy puts CPD and DHS agents in potentially dangerous situations. But Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who took office in May, says "immigrants" are welcome in the city which has a "sanctuary" policy.
Dave Ray with the Federation for American Immigration Reform says Chicago is endangering public safety with a new policy forbidding city police from cooperating with federal immigration officers.
"Sanctuary policies not only endanger public safety but violate federal law," he tells OneNewsNow. "It's not up to the mayor of Chicago as to which federal laws local police should obey and which laws they should break. Federal laws should be followed by all of us."
And Ray say this policy is particularly irresponsible in light of the horrific high crime rate in Chicago.
"Illegal immigrants are more than three times as likely as legal immigrants or citizens to end up spending time in jail," the FAIR spokesman notes. "We all hoped Kate Steinle would be the last worst example of what happens when you put criminal aliens back on the streets, but apparently the mayor of Chicago is going to continue this unfortunate trend."
Kate Steinle is the young woman who was killed in San Francisco in July 2015 after being struck by a stray bullet when an illegal alien – a felon who had been deported five times – picked up a weapon and discharged it. He claimed the gun fired accidently when he picked it up. A jury eventually acquitted the illegal immigrant of murder and manslaughter charges, and a separate conviction on firearm possession was overturned on appeal.
Zero tolerance for cooperating with federal agents
This did not sit well with the leftist politics embraced by leadership within the department.
"He contacted ICE and detained the man until they arrived," TheBlaze reported. "Unfortunately for the officer, Fairfax County Police policy forbids cooperation with ICE. The officer was suspended with pay."
President Donald Trump – who has often touted his tough-on-immigration stance along with his support for ICE and a border wall – has made his position clear on matters concerning illegals evading the law.
"We believe America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding citizens – not criminal aliens," Trump declared, according to Breitbart News.
Justifying refusal to cooperate
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler, Jr., justified not detaining illegal immigrants upon ICE's request by citing arrest procedures for FCPD General Order 601, which he said have been in effect since 2007.
"If the response reads 'OUTSTANDING ADMINISTRATIVE WARRANT OF REMOVAL' and the individual is not in custody or being taken into custody for any other violation of law, officers shall not confirm the hit through LESC and shall not take the individual into custody based solely upon the IVF hit," he informed. "The majority of such administrative warrants represent civil violations of immigration law."
He also defended suspending his officer by claiming his department has no power to carry out federal law.
"[T]raining at our Academy – as clearly outlined in lesson plans – as well as in-service training, reinforces to our personnel that we do not enforce nor detain for administrative warrants and we have no authority to enforce federal law," Roessler insisted in his department's announcement. "We have also been working closely with community members and advocates to review our General Orders in this regard."
Instead of mentioning that the illegal alien was breaking the law by remaining in the United States illegally and failing to appear in court regarding his illegal residency in the country, the police chief chided his officer for obstructing the immigrant's freedom.
"As a matter of full transparency to our community – our police officer violated our longstanding policy and deprived a person of their freedom, which is unacceptable," Roessler asserted. "We have been informed by ICE that the driver was released after three hours and issued an ankle monitor."
He went on to champion his departmental policy, emphasizing the diversity of Fairfax County.
"When I learned of this event, I directed an immediate internal investigation to look at all factors in this matter to ensure that all are held accountable for this violation," Roessler recounted. "Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE."
The head of police was also upset that his officer's cooperation with ICE has marred his department's pro-immigration image to the public.
"This matter damages our reputation and the longstanding policy that I have stated many times that our officers shall not act as immigration agents," Roessler added. "The officer involved in this event has been relieved of all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of this investigation. It is my duty to enforce our FCPD – and Fairfax County – policies and hold all accountable for their actions."
The Daily Caller says that in addition to being relieved of duties, the officer was to undergo "remedial training." Fox News reported Thursday morning that the officer is back on the job after being suspended.
Problems over blue policy on immigration
Because of its lax policies regarding immigration, Fairfax County has had problems with Latin America's most notorious and brutal gang.
"Fairfax County has become a central home to the violent MS-13 Gang from El Salvador – in part thanks to the generous sanctuary county policy," Breitbart News' John Binder pointed out. "The gang is made up mostly of illegal aliens from El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border – posing as unaccompanied minor children."
Just last year, Virginia voters elected Governor Ralph Northam (D) to lead their state and carry out the Democratic Party's open-borders immigration policy of protecting illegals. In 2016, the Atlantic Seaboard state also voted for pro-immigration Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by a five-percent margin over Donald Trump.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.