28°Partly Cloudy

BREAKING NEWS — County Board Votes to Withdraw from Immigration Enforcement Program

by ARLnow.com — September 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm 5,834 81 Comments

The Arlington County board voted Tuesday afternoon to become the first community in Virginia — and one of the only communities in the country — to withdraw from the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program.

Following an impassioned presentation by board member Walter Tejada, and without further discussion, the board voted 5-0 to direct County Manager Michael Brown to formally notify Virginia State Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of Arlington’s intention to withdraw from the program, which Virginia implemented statewide earlier this year.

“This is something that was imposed on Arlington County and other jurisdictions,” Tejada said. “They didn’t ask our opinion, there was no public process.”

“Arlington county remains firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all people,” Tejada added, saying actions by the state government have created “an anti-immigrant sentiment, regretfully.”

“We’ve had a pattern of measures that seek to score cheap political points on the backs of working immigrants,” he said.

Tejada said Arlington County law enforcement would maintain its current policy of only reporting undocumented immigrants directly to federal authorities in the event of serious crimes. He argued that the Secure Communities program is actually a hinderance to police.

“There are concerns among Arlington County law enforcement and our residents that the Secure Communities initiative will create divisions in our community, and promote a cultural fear and distrust of law enforcement that threatens communities and makes communities less safe,” Tejada said, reading from the text of the resolution.

The resolution also calls on the U.S. Congress to “enact meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants.

A crowd that included at least a dozen immigration rights advocates rose to their feet and cheered after the vote. Many hugged and some whistled and threw their hands in the air.

In a joint statement following the vote, Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur and Police Chief Douglas Scott said that the resolution will not change the way their respective departments enforce the law.

“Our goal remains unchanged – we are here to keep this community safe,” the statement reads. “And to do so, we must rely on strong partnerships and relationships with everyone in our community. We want to make sure that all people – regardless of their country of origin – continue to report crimes and do not fear interacting with Arlington County law enforcement.”

Update at 10:25 p.m. — The county has posted a text of the resolution here.

  • Dave

    Looking forward to more details, I’d like to know what Mr. Tejada’s reasoning was. Is the presentation going to be posted anywhere by the county?

    • Diamond

      In a county that was home to some of the 9-11 terrorists it is appalling that Tejada could convince the rest of the Board (who must have some common sense) to go along with this. WTF. Since Arlington is also home to the Pentagon, DARPA and many other high value government and military terrorist targets you would think they would be more interested in the immigration status of Arlington visitors and citizens who come under police scrutiny.

  • charlie

    finally some true liberal democratic action by these so-called Democrats.

  • RJ

    Good move, County Board! Any other law enforcement programs you’d like to “opt-out” of? Politcal grandstanding to curry favor with constituents will be downfall of our society.

  • ArlRes

    Vote them all out!

    Traitors

  • Whitney Wilson

    Can Arlington simply opt-out? Based on all of the Dillon-rule issues, I would be surprised if Arlington could tell the state to go jump in the lake, but I assume that some group of lawyers has a least put together an argument that would permit Arlington to do this.

  • Ralph Silberman

    Read the resolution and then comment:

    ” the County Board called on the County Manager to officially notify U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Virginia State Police of Arlington’s decision to withdraw from the program and determine what consequences and impacts this decision will have on the County, our residents and visitors.”

    • Whitney Wilson

      That sounds a little like “ready, shoot, aim.” Shouldn’t we be determining what the consequences are before we actually “withdraw” from the program.

    • MG

      It will be interesting to see if the county takes any “losses” for its actions. Whether that be State funding or whatever else….I just hope as a resident it won’t mean too much increased taxes or whatever they can gather revenue from coming from Arlingtonians, ugh.

  • MC

    I fail to see how someone who is arrested for a crime of any severity and discovered to be breaking the law by being in the United States illegally, is having their “civil liberties” violated when it is reported that they are in the US illegally. By definition, civil liberties are for citizens, who have constitutional rights through being citizens. This logic makes no more sense than saying that foreign tourists have civil liberties in the US. Very tortured reasoning by the Board, and very non-transparent and undemocratic rule making as well.

    • JW

      Foreign tourists DO have (almost all) the same civil liberties as citizens while in the US. Pretty much every word of your post is incorrect.

      • Vicente Fox

        How many “tourists” are here illegally?

    • Jorge

      You’ve obviously not been overseas.

    • BoredHouseWife

      They are not going to stop reporting illegals if they have been caught in a crime. They are just not going to actively profile.

    • MC

      @ JW: I don’t know what rights you imagine foreign tourists have, but I am confident they do not have the right to work in a country they visit without special permission, an they do not have the right to vote, among other rather fundamental rights citizens assume.

      @ Jorge: Very sloppy to assume things about other people as “obviously” for you don’t know and have not met — I have lived many years overseas as a matter of fact, and can report through first hand experience that even in common law countries aliens never have the same rights as nationals. If you get in legal trouble most anywhere in the world, you can’t count on the same protections you’d have as a US citizen in the United States. Show me a state willing to grant the very same rights to non-citizens as citizens and you’ll find a state headed for either lawless disorder or totalitarianism.

      • HB

        @MC: Foreign visitors, legal or not, have the right to due process of the law. Constitutional protections apply to all on US soil, not only citizens or legal residents. I disagree with the County Board’s decision, but let’s at least understand some civics’ fundamentals.

  • Lou

    I hope the commonwealth sues the county and every member of the board like the county is suing my brother-in-law over the HOT lanes.

  • GA

    What a joke. Arlington residents will have to suffer the consequences of these decisions. I have no idea how they continue to get elected.

    • Jane

      They dont get my vote.

  • MC

    Why did Mr Tejada not place this item on the official agenda for Arlington citizens and taxpayers to see beforehand? Why did some interest groups know about it beforehand, but the general public did not get informed? Why are is the Board conducting backroom deals? Isn’t the lack of consultation the very complaint the Board is aggrieved by? If so, why are they acting in such as Putin-like fashion?

  • DaveinSA

    Will the Board provide to the citizens the dividing line between “serious” and non-serious crimes ? And, what liability do the citizens incur, if any, due to this unadvertised action by the Board ? Thanks Walter for your transparency. You have much to explain.

  • Joe

    Are you kidding me!? Arlington will take you to task for a parking violation, but if you’re here illegally, they look the other way. Our board needs a reality check.

  • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

    This is a good move. It focuses Arlington’s resources on issues that we can address, and opts out of the political circus that is the current state of federal immigration law enforcement. In case none of you who are clutching your pearls noticed, this doesn’t preclude ACPD from enforcing all state and local law against anyone. You know, ACPD’s job. Rather, it allows them to focus on what they were intended to do, and encourages cooperation from a community that doesn’t have to worry about Federal authorities deciding to take a political grandstand on the issue of immigration.

    • Paul

      If you are not a violent terrorist, then the Arlington PD is not interested in your immigration status. I would love to know the number of repeat offenders that Arlington PD arrests and then releases.

      I don’t care where you came from or the color of your skin, but if you came here illegally, then you MUST go home. You should have no rights. And once you are picked up, you should not be released until your trial is complete.

      Catch and release is for fishing, not criminals. Period.

    • Frenchy B

      Sorry, but after reading the link above to the ICE website, I don’t see that complying with the Secure Communities program creates a significant burden on ACPD – we’re talking about people that have already been arrested for a criminal offense that isn’t related to their immigration status. Instead of running the arrestees’ fingerprints against only the FBI’s database, their prints would also be run against the DHS immigration database.

      Per the ICE website (http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/1006/100621washington.htm):

      “Formerly, during the booking process, arrestees’ fingerprints were checked for criminal history information only against the biometric database maintained by the FBI. With the implementation of Secure Communities, this fingerprint information is now automatically and simultaneously checked against both the FBI criminal history records and the biometrics-based immigration records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If any fingerprints match those of someone in the DHS biometric system, the new automated process notifies ICE. ICE evaluates each case to determine the individual’s immigration status and takes appropriate enforcement action. This includes aliens who are in lawful status and those who are present without lawful authority. Once identified through fingerprint matching, ICE will respond with a priority placed on aliens convicted of the most serious offenses first – such as those with convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping.”

      This program isn’t hunting down illegal immigrants who, aside from their immigration status, are law-abiding. It’s about relaying information to ICE so they can at least deport illegal immigrants that are convicted of serious crimes:

      “Since ICE began using this enhanced information sharing capability in October 2008, immigration officers have removed from the United States more than 8,500 criminal aliens convicted of Level 1 crimes, such as murder, rape and kidnapping. Additionally, ICE has removed more than 22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes, including burglary and serious property crimes, which account for the majority of crimes committed by aliens. ICE does not regard aliens charged with, but not yet convicted of crimes, as “criminal aliens.” Instead, a “criminal alien” is an alien convicted of a crime.”

      • MG

        After having read this…its kind of shocking what kind of argument one can make against implementing this process and simply adding fingerprint checks against DHS databases. Why on earth would we want to keep illegal aliens who are committing crimes protected??? I don’t want legal citizens committing crimes protected either…it just doesn’t make sense, maybe I’m missing something here??

    • Dave

      How does sending a set of finger prints they’re ALREADY taking create an extra burden on ACPD? Basically the program asks them to add DHS to the cc line when sending the finger prints to the FBI. Is that really burdensome?

      • Lou

        Perhaps the affected agencies will just have to place agents at the Arlington booking facility to provide Arlington’s compliance for them.

  • Bob
  • TuesdaysChild

    Vote them out.

  • Paul

    Tejada only cares about a certain constituency. And he continually panders to that group. Let the rest of us pay for it. He just raises our taxes and provides more services for them.

  • Brian

    More twisted logic from the County Board. If the Secure Communities program reporting applies only to those who are arrested, and the only change involved automatically sending the arrestee’s biometric info to be checked against another database (ICE), how the hell does Tejada get away with saying that the program is part of scoring “cheap political points on the backs of working immigrants” and that it’s a hinderance to police??? The cops had probable cause to take them to jail and book them. Something doesn’t add up.

  • Russ Allison

    CC: Jim Webb, US Senator
    CC: Jim Moran, US Congressman
    CC: Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorny General
    CC: ArlingtonNOW

    Dear Governor McDonnell,

    This e-mail to you is sent with a most heavy heart, for my own county of four generations, Arlington, has chosen to rebuke the will of its citizens, of our Commonwealth, and of the laws of our nation. How can this be? I can only surmise that politics and special interests have combined to create the loss of understanding of the principles that made Virginia and the United States of America the greatest on earth. That plus Arlington is extremely diverse and a large supporter of the liberal agenda promoting asylum for illegal undocumented residents.

    In withdrawing from the Secure Communities Program, the Arlington County Board is willfully harboring and supporting illegal aliens, with resources provided by taxes from honest, legal, and hardworking county citizens. Is not this position in violation of our laws? In protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of non-citizens, the Arlington County Board is conferring rights and liberties on residents who have not earned them, and rights that were earned by the toil, sacrifice, and blood of legal migrants dating to the discovery of this continent. In turning a blind eye to immigration status, the Arlington County Sherriff and Police Departments are complicit in the crime of felony false identification, are they not? I could be wrong for I am not an attorney of our constitution or immigration law, but I have educated myself enough to be disgusted with the current state of affairs.

    In our beloved Commonwealth and nation, we are all suffering from the misguided appropriations and agenda of certain elected officials. This evening, Arlington schools are conducting Back-To-School-Night in separate Spanish (6:00pm) and English (7:00pm) sessions at the expense of its taxpayers, and at the benefit of many non-legal, non-taxpaying families of students. From what I’ve discovered, the perpetuation of Spanish is a handicap rather than a facilitator for new generation migrants. Does not this discriminate against non-Spanish and non-English speaking students and families?

    I have grave doubts about the consequences of decisions made by our current county and Federal governments. But who am I? I have no voice except that of a discounted and marginalized member of the racial majority. I am excluded from the Federal bounty of billions of citizen tax dollars annually given to small minority-owned businesses without competition, and due solely to the color of my skin. Why is this when I and my family generations past worked so tirelessly in the hope that the next generation would fare better, and fought and died in the Revolution, Civil War, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, and Desert Storm? Yet as a small business owner, I toil 3,200 hour years to provide income for myself and family, to educate my children in out-of-state colleges, and to provide jobs for people of the Commonwealth, including minority members, against whom I hold no prejudice so long as they are here legally.

    As a 16th generation Virginian and third generation graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with family in all five regions of the Commonwealth, I beseech you and Attorney General Cuccinelli to turn the Arlington County Board in support of the Secure Communities Program, and to realign the county board with the laws of our state and our national constitution.

    With your exceptional administration sir, and the actions of our Attorney General, I am once again most proud to be a Virginian. Thank you ever so much. Please continue on your present path of constitutionality and patriotism.

    A devoted constituent,

    Russell DeWitte Allison

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

      Dear Russell DeWitte Allison -

      You are embarrassingly clueless and actually kind of whiney. Whether that’s a function of 16 generations of Virginia, I don’t know.

      Sincerely,

      Mark Blacknell

      • Russ Allison

        Good luck with your minority view Mark. Majority rules in this country. And yes I am whining justifiably for the decades that I and my family have had to shoulder funding for county, state and federal services for people who haven’t earned those services. The crush of insurgent illegals has become unbearable for US citizens to carry. Ever been to Arlington hospital’s ER? Ever been through Wakefield, Washington-Lee or Yorktown G9-12 lately? There is a legal way for people to work and become citizens of the US. Arlington is not a separate sovereign nation. I have no prejudice against those that are here legally. Those that are here illegally are supported against our laws for no other reason than to garner votes. Until you have to carry the burden of paying for your services, your childrens’ services and a host of illegal non-tax paying alien services, I don’t expect you to understand. You’re forgiven. But don’t you dare whine when you lose your job or your taxes go up 40% in support of your position. Me? I’ll move out of my home of three generations and retire. My kids will carry the load or move to another country.

        • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

          See, the funny part, Russ, is that with all your whooping and hollerin’, you kinda missed the part where fundamental rights aren’t really up for a majority vote (as much as that must hurt someone like you, with your views on minorities). If you actually knew anything about Virginia and its founding history, it might not escape you. Arlington’s ER? Washington-Lee? Well gosh, I’ve been to both places plenty over the years. Never really felt like I was in the middle of a problem. Maybe it’s you? As to shouldering tax burdens, I don’t think you really want to lay those cards on the table. As best I can tell, you’re just a whinging fool who doesn’t realize the humor of his own complaints, given that his benefits probably outstripped his pay-in, years ago. But hey, you’ve decided that you want to play the victim, so go ahead. I’m sure the previous 15 generations of Virginians wouldn’t roll their eyes in embarrassment at all.

        • Set the controls

          I’m curious, is all. Why do you bring up the ER and the high schools? If it’s because there might be a lot of Hispanic folks in your midst, then be more explicit. Insinuation like that leaves an uncritical imagination to wander and exaggerate. Yours is a psychological tactic that has always been used by despots and manipulators, so please keep it to yourself.

    • John Antonelli

      Great letter. I can’t wait for the Cuoch or even Eric Holder to clamp down on these clowns. the Arlington County Board is an embarrassment.

    • Agree

      Russ, I am with you on the message of your letter but seriously stick to the facts. It is whiney, cut out the “who am I? attitude. The gov doesn’t care how long you lived in VA, or the fact you went to school here, or that your happy with his administration. Stick to the facts, it will give your letter more weight and credibility.

    • Jorge

      Wow…make it sound like your has been in the continent since the dawn of man. May I remind you that before the first DeWitte, there were Native Americans…and if you want to bring in your bragging rights of your attending schools and how your ancestors planted trees, then perhaps the natives should remind you that had they not shared their food with the first colonials at Plymouth rock, they should have let them starved.

      • BWP

        And we see what happened to the Native American society and culture after they permitted uncontrolled immigration.

  • Grover

    Facts, not fear, Russ.
    Immigrants are a drain on the United States Economy — FALSE
    The immigrant community is not a drain on the U.S. economy but, in fact, proves to be a net benefit. Research reported by both the CATO Institute and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors reveals that the average immigrant pays a net $80,000 more in taxes than they collect in government services. For immigrants with college degrees the net fiscal return is $198,000. Furthermore, The American Farm Bureau asserts that without guest workers the U.S. economy would lose as much as $9 billion a year in agricultural production and 20 percent of current production would go overseas.

    • Can you clarify?

      I can accept the statistics about the guest workers and agriculture, but the statistics about $80K paid by the average immigrant doesn’t add up. Can you clarify?
      As far as health care. Your statistics do not account for what is written off yearly by hospitals when a uninsured illegal immigrant is treated at an ER and doesn’t pay the bill.

  • Grover

    “Arlington’s ER”, Russ??!! What does that even mean? Are you trying to imply that all the brown folks are getting their emergency services for free while the Anglo folks are bearing the burden? Again, please consider looking at facts:
    Undocumented immigrants are a Burden on the Healthcare System — FALSE
    Federal, state and local governments spend approximately 1.1 billion dollars annually on healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants, aged 18-64, or approximately $11 in taxes for each U.S. household. This compares to 88 billion dollars spent on all health care for non-elderly adults in the U.S. in 2000. Foreign born individuals tend to use fewer health care services because they are relatively healthier than their native born counterparts. For example, in Los Angeles County, “total medical spending on undocumented immigrants was $887 million in 2000 – 6 percent of total costs, although undocumented immigrants comprise 12 percent of the region’s residents.”
    (Source: The Rand Corporation, “RAND Study Shows Relatively Little Public Money Spent Providing Healthcare to Undocumented Immigrants,” November 14, 2006, http://www.rand.org/news/press.06/11.14.html; Dana P. Goldman, James P. Smith and Neeraj Sood, “Immigrants and the Cost of Medical Care,” Health Affairs 25, no. 6 (2006): 1700-1711)

  • Jason

    I am a democrat, but plan to vote against the entire current board when they come up for election. It doesn’t matter if Illegal immigrants are law abiding, they are here illegally.

    • Jorge

      Is that becauseyou trated the Honda for the BMW?

      • RJ

        Jorge: are you trying to turn this into class warfare and racial warfare. There are fringe elements on both sides of this argument – are you one of them? This is a question of legality, argue that and people might respect your perspective more.

        To everybody else: if you let this kind of discussion deteriorate into personal attacks on people with differing viewpoints, then you are part of the problem. Just because you CAN say whatever you want (a civil liberty) doesn’t mean you SHOULD say whatever you want. Stick to the issues.

  • V Dizzle

    So in summary, most of you are for a strong Federal Government telling the states what to do. I’m a liberal Federal employee, and that still sounds irresponsible.

    I’m also second generation Hispanic with multiple legal extended family members that doesn’t necessarily speak English well (or at all), and each one is a contributing member of their community. They have children that are bi-lingual and frankly better off having a less myopic view of people and their worth. I hear a lot of banter about, ‘well they are criminals, send them back’, but that’s backed up by xenophobic statements, and letters that critique people speaking a second language in their communities. Think back to when your ancestors immigrated to the US (unless you’re a Native American), and think about how silly the stories of prejudice sound to you now. The Board might not be doing the right thing, or doing it in the right way, but a lot of your facts and statements are just panicky bull. I hope that somehow we get beyond this polarizing, and purely political argument (used in the same way the NY Mosque and abortion is used in an election year), and people learn some form of tolerance. This wasn’t an issue for ANY of you until the politicians decided it was the topic of the day. Until people are OK with paying more for wine, produce, oranges, jewelry, food at restaurants, and many other things, I can’t take these arguments seriously, especially when we have a porous border that the Federal Government doesn’t seem intent on sealing (thereby making deportations of minor offenders moot).

    Now please go back to your arguing over illegal Canadian aliens.

  • SA Resident

    Comments tinged with racism, xenophobia or economic elitism obscure the legality issue. As a law-abiding society, we don’t get to pick and choose which laws we obey. There are lots of laws I don’t like and there are lots of ways to get them changed. Abrupt refusal to follow the law isn’t one of them. Undocumented immigrants, whether they are working and paying taxes, are illegal. I work and pay taxes. Will that get me a pass when I break the law? Civil rights means the right to be treated equally under the law, not treated specially outside of the law – that’s what civil rights advocates are AGAINST. What am I supposed to tell my children about the role of government and the rule of law?

    • Jack

      well said.

    • V Dizzle

      Completely agree, except that Federal laws don’t automatically roll into county laws or enforcement practices. I am not a lawyer, but it seems like fed/state boundaries are important, and I am sure there are other cases where the state/county chooses what to enforce and how they enforce it. However, in this case the state apparently agreed to cooperate in some manner, though I am not sure that they adopted the specific regulations to VA Code (or wherever you put criminal regs), so I am not sure what latitude a county/city would have. We’ll see. Any constitutional lawyers or supreme court judges in the house?

  • Question

    The thing we aren’t going to comply with checks the fingerprints against a DHS database. If someone was brought here from central/south america by coyote, then their prints wouldn’t be in a database, would they ? I guess if you came here legally but overstayed your Visa, then your prints would be at DHS ?

    • Jorge

      Correct.

  • Frank

    Russ Allison–from generations who benefited from slavery, Jim Crowe, lack of women’s rights, etc. Ah, the good old days. Maybe the “exceptional administration” will bring back the Confederacy.

    • Russ Allison

      Frank,

      SLAVERY – My ancestors were Scottish immigrants in the mid 1600s who refused to join the Church of England. They had a choice of deportation to the New World or beheading. Not one of them ever owned a slave nor benefited from slave ownership by others. They abhorred slavery, and fought in the Civil War only to repel the northern invaders and defend their farms and family members from complete ruination and murder. Actually, being murdered quickly by Union soldiers was preferable to protracted starvation over the winter, if your wife and kids managed to escape detection. 60 percent of the Civil War was fought on Virginia soil. My ancestors were forcibly conscripted. They had no choice. It was not the same as choosing a fraternity at a rush or volunteering for Neighborhood Watch.

      JIM CROWE – I grew up here in this progressive, liberal community. My schools taught Civil Rights, and the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King. I watched Washington burn after his assassination. I went to school in a fully integrated and highly diversified environment. I, my wife, and two boys have lifelong friends who are Black, Asian, Greek, Hispanic, Armenian, Saudi, Persian, Native American, Australian, and more, and all here legally and supportive of immigration enforcement. I never knew segregation growing up and I don’t condone it now.

      WOMEN’S RIGHTS – I’ve worked in the most diversified and pro-women’s companies for 31 years, by Federal mandate for diversification, and I’ve sat on diversification councils by minority nomination and election. I’ve worked for women and with women. In the first three years as a small business owner, the vast majority of my employees were women.

      Throwing out these banal and false implications concerning my background and beliefs only diminishes the strength of your argument. I’m assuming you are a US Citizen. It is our community of citizens who consent to be governed, and for whom the government exists. The principal responsibility of the government is to the citizen. Otherwise the government ceases to be legitimate. When our government at any level places the importance of illegal immigrants above the law and in direct opposition to the desires of the citizenry, i.e. to not enforce immigration law, it ceases to be legitimate. Your rights and protections as a US Citizen Frank become usurped and corrupted by these declarations and activities.

      So then, in throwing out slavery, Jim Crowe and [lack of] women’s rights, in association with my previous post, is your real underlying argument that you are willing to give up your liberties, rights and protections, and those of all US Citizens in order to help illegal immigrants avoid detection and prosecution? In your estimation, are these illegal immigrants the people whom the Arlington County government serves first and foremost, over and above the citizens that elected its leaders and furnishes it with revenue? I think the majority of people contributing to this topic would find your argument lacking legitimacy.

      Russ

      • katy

        I think you’re trying too hard.

        • Russ Allison

          Nope, just too much free time I suppose.

  • Set the controls

    I think enforcement of laws which illegal immigrants break, beyond the law which has already been broken by illegally immigrating is a fringe issue, fringe in that it is not central to the immigration debate, not in that fringe elements only discuss it, FTR. Rather, sanctuary communities only remain so when employment opportunities present themselves-I know, it’s been said a zillion times.

    Which leads me to a connection. Grover (above) said “The immigrant community is not a drain on the U.S. economy but, in fact, proves to be a net benefit.” And it has also been said a zillion times, doubtless by Mr. Tejada, that immigrants work very hard. That they do, as do we all. The mega-issue of inequality in the distribution of wealth is now trending and it will not go away like the average news cycle. Someday corporatists will realize that we are a market and the more one feeds the market, the more the market’s appetite grows, as will the economy. And that market should include (legal IMO) immigrants, hence the “net benefit.” Just like your boss gets more productivity out of you than what he pays you, the economy benefits more from your participation than the value of the benefits conferred on you. I know, it sounds kind of cynical, and sorry if I sound patronizing.

    My two cents are to strictly enforce labor documentation above all else, secondly to vote out Mr. Tejada for being a “boutique” legislator, who is at the vanguard of immigrant issues and little else. To the folks who run around with “deport the illegal immigrants now” on their lips, please understand that you would be breaking up families, since children born here are U.S. citizens. Uprooting families and communities and deporting them is ethnic cleansing, though of a less violent nature than we’ve seen.

  • LawAbider

    Great Letter Russ, if you have the actual email address of all the people that are cc’d on it that would awesome as I would surely resend your letter as I whole heartily agree with everthing you say in it. Grover, I’ve seen all the stats on illegal aliens also but one thing you need to take in to consideration is the source (i.e. Presidents Council of Economic Advisors – President Obama is pro illegal alien so this is expected). And yes, Wakefield and the local ER’s are a travesty.

    I am sick to my stomach at what the Arlington County Board has been doing to harbor illegal aliens. Mr. Tejeda you forgot to put the word “illegal” in front of immigrants whenever you mention immigrants. To me and most every other law abiding legal tax paying citizen in Arlington County this is very significant. Why this county board continually promotes the nurturing of illegal aliens is beyond me, could it be that Tejada is behind this for political reasons as he is looking for the hispanic vote? My guess is yes and all other board members are foolishly kissing up to him. This board is a joke and needs to be voted out immediately, over taxing, over spending and over harboring of illegal aliens, oh and don’t let me now forget to add law breaker. And by the way, for all those who posted about taxes because of this decision, yes tax money will be spent on free services for the new influx of illegal aliens which means taxes will go up. Let me add that the county will probably incur thousands of dollars on lawyer fees to fight this just as they did on the hot lanes, again wasted tax money. One last thing, Mr. Tejada I have a question for you – how are we suppose to instill in our children that breaking the law is wrong and that they should respect all laws if our elected officials of Arlington County and the United States are wanting to give amnesty to people who came in this country illegally therefore saying it’s okay to break laws? Arlington residents, please take note of the county board agenda and vote them out if you want to save Arlington (if possible anymore). I know my community will never go back to being a great place to live, beware of yours.

  • Russ Allison

    Law Abider, here are the URLs. You’ll have to go onto each website and complete the required data first.

    Governor McDonnell: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

    Senator Webb: http://webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm

    Senator Warner: http://warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact

    Congressman Moran: http://moran.house.gov/zipauth.shtml

    Thanks,
    Russ

  • John

    The thing that bothers me the most about this is that once again Arlington tries to assert itself as being smarter, more progressive, and simply better than the rest of Virginia.

    • Jay F.

      Well, if the shoe fits…

  • jorge

    Legality? What you gonna sue me Russ? LOL. If you are right on the mejority rules, then you obviously don’t geyt democracy. And yes, I will stand behind my statement. Be thankful the natives took pity on the first coloniazers, oh yeah, were they not escaping persecussion? As far as cops pulling people over and them having the right of law to ask for citizenship or legal residence is simply fascist and communist! Stalin and Hitler used this rule of law. So to all you gop red white and blue flag waivers…you are as just as communist and fascist as the nazies and the soviets. Congratulate yourselves. Russell and jeff, I’m sure your grandparents would be happy with your comments. Furthermore, cops already profile in the area but likely not to profile whites. And to all your surprise there whites that are also illegal but live flamboyant lives here because evryone assumes they are American.

    • Russ Allison

      Jorge,

      Soy muy simpatico! It may surprise you that I agree with you about certain activities being fascist and tyrannical – absolutely. I’m not condoning that, nor supporting those types of activities. They are, after all, illegal and counterproductive. I have just as many complaints about the GOP as I do about the Democrats. If you reread my comments, you’ll notice I make no reference to ethnicity. I’m sorry that you have placed me in the same boat as Jeff, the commentor who has now been banned. As with others in this string, my argument focuses exclusively on enforcement of the law, and that no person or government in the US is above the law of the people. If you or others you know feel threatened by the promotion of immigration law enforcement, then that is truly unfortunate, but I bear no hatred or malice toward those people. It is the lack of border control and lack of enforcement that has placed illegal immigrants in a very difficult situation, especially those with children born here and/or going to school here. As for the fact of majority rule in our government, you would help yourself and your cause more efectively by demonstrating a basic knowledge of how our Democratic Republic actually works. Demonstrating ignorance of how our government works and of our laws only helps those who are against you. Peace!

  • Jeff

    [Deleted]

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Jeff, that’s twice now. Sorry but you’ve been banned.

  • Rover

    As a legal citizen, if I break ANY law and a lawman catches me he/she will not look the other way. Hey, Walter, next time my car is parked illegally in Arlington are you going to look the other way? You are willing to allow an immigrant break the law by being here illigally, so why not let my parking meter expire and look the other way? The law is the law.

  • LawAbider

    Thanks Russ for the info.

    Jay F, yes the shoe does fit, notice key word “tries”.

  • Dave

    I like how the resolution says, “the residents of Arlington County” were deprived of the “opportunity to give full and proper consideration to the impact of the program”, yet the topic was not on the official agenda (essentially keeping the public from knowing ahead of time) and there was zero discussion after Mr. Tejada’s presentation.

  • Rob

    I was just thinking that Arlington needed more unskilled laborers hanging around in parking lots. Good job county board.

  • Steve

    The ONE liberal thing I do favor is high speed rail, especially in VA, so I can one day not have to live in a liberal area like Arlington anymore and not have an insanely long commute.

    Things like this will get people like me out to vote, for Republicans. But I know tha tin libbie Arlington, it won’t matter.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      Good riddance, teabagger.

  • Steve

    Do you think you can stop stalking?

  • Barbara

    It doesn’t make good sense on any level to allow any person to enter the United States ILLEGALLY when there is a LEGAL WAY TO ENTER. The only fundamental rights they are entitled to is safe conduct back to the country they entered from. Beginning the “American Dream” by disrespecting American laws just isn’t acceptable. As for the desperate circumstance in neighboring Mexico — that won’t end until the people stand up for themselves and have their own revolution just like the United States did against England. Freedom isn’t EVER free.

  • American Citizen

    So other counties can just chase their illegals in to Arlington.

    Have fun, Arlington.

  • Pingback: People's Blog for the Constitution :: The Arlington Resolution

  • CJR

    Great, now I too get to live the California lifestyle of a sanctuary city. I’d say vote them out, but I’ve been trying that for years now.

  • Woo

    Just one more nail in the Arlington coffin. I was born in Arlington 60 years ago and just now decided to leave this county and move my companies to FL. no car tax, no state income tax and some balance to government

    • BooHoo

      I hope you’re ready for the astronomical property tax and insurance rates they have down there.

  • Immigrant

    Just a clarification on Immigrant figures.
    Are they immigrant or illegal immigrant? Legal immigrants pay all the taxes but get far less in return than the average citizen. I’m fine with that, that’s the benefit of being a citizen.
    I would assume illegal immigrants don’t pay the large chunk of taxes the rest of the legals pay.

    As far as the original item is concerned, I would feel it makes sense to try and close the loop on criminal activity. If someone’s already arrested for theft or worse, it makes sense that a check to DHS, FBI etc is part of the “processing”. I don’t think profiling is right but the extra fingerprint lookup
    upon booking makes sense.

    Also, I got the feeling from the article that minorities would cease to call the PD due to fears on immigration. Again, I would hope the PD would use this as part of a booking and not the average person who happened to call something in.

  • Jerome Smiff

    Tejada stance on illegals is similar to the fox watching the chicken coop mentality. The ONLY way to change the thinking of these morons that sit on the County Board is to get the change of government initiative on the ballot. Once the board members realize that they are not on the board for life they will be more responsive to the needs of the community. Until then the Board will continue to serve their own selfish needs and their perceived needs of the citizens. As a lifelong resident of Arlington since 1963 it is extremely sad to see the way we have evolved.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list