I found the following, by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova (D) to be a helpful clarification on “the Fairfax County Sheriff‘s recent announcement to terminate the Intergovernmental Service Agreement with ICE.” I thought it was worth sharing, especially since there’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there, including by irresponsible right-wing demagogues like Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member Pat Herrity (R) on WMAL far-right radio the other day. (note: bolding added by me for emphasis)
I’ve heard from a number of community members regarding the Fairfax County Sheriff‘s recent announcement to terminate the Intergovernmental Service Agreement with ICE. Under the agreement, the Sheriff was holding inmates in the jail up to 48 hours beyond the time inmates had finished serving their sentence if ICE asked for extra time to come pick them up. Most jurisdictions in Virginia don’t have this kind of contract with ICE. Holding inmates longer than their sentence extends the local resources of the County jail beyond their obligations.
When the Intergovernmental Service Agreement ends on May 23, 2018, ICE will need to pick people up from the County jail on time, before their release date. If ICE needs more time to get there and submits a detainer request accompanied by a criminal detainer issued by a court, the Sheriff will honor that and will hold the inmate up to 48 hours longer.
The Sheriff’s Office, our public safety agencies, and Fairfax County Government as a whole continue to cooperate with all federal, state and local authorities to keep our community safe. The Sheriff’s Office sends all fingerprints of inmates to a state database, which all local, state and national law enforcement agencies, including ICE, have access to. Per State law, ICE may take custody of an inmate in our jail up to five days in advance of that inmate’s scheduled release date, or get a court-issued criminal detainer if they need a couple extra days to come pick that person up.
It is important for residents to remember that just because someone is undocumented and ends up in jail does not mean that person is part of a gang. Fairfax County does offer resources for youth who might be a target for gang recruitment, and encourages the community to know what to look for. Law enforcement will tell you that the best way to prevent the spread of gang activity is through prevention and intervention.
Also see the following comments to Chairman Bulova’s post by Ben “Not Larry Sabato” Tribbett; David Broder of SEIU Virginia 512; and Claire Guthrie Gastanaga of the Virginia ACLU.
Ben Tribbett: “Thank you Sharon. The key here is that they were held 48 hours before, and are still held 48 hours. The change is now to be held the 48 hours, ICE has to have a *judge* agree, instead of some administrative person in their department. In other words, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid has restored due process for all residents of the county- and should be applauded for doing so.”
David Broder: “Thank you again Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Chair Sharon Bulova for upholding the rule of law, and working to keep local families united. It is tragic that some in our community would rather demagogue and scare residents because of their extremist political ideology.”
Claire Guthrie Gastanaga: “The Sheriff took an oath to uphold the constitution. That is all she is doing. Also cancelling a contract where a deputy said at a public forum last spring the agreed payment of $109 a day is half what it costs to provide the bed to the feds for the detainee. Local taxpayers were footing the rest of the bill to hold someone who ICE hadn’t charged with a crime.”