The Arlington County Police Department does not plan on changing its hands-off immigration policies after Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ruled that law enforcement can ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.
Cuccinelli’s legal opinion also allows police to arrest individuals suspected of committing criminal violations of immigration laws (such as illegally crossing the border).
Currently, ACPD will not ask about citizenship status unless such information is relevant to solving a crime. The department does not arrest undocumented immigrants for federal immigration violations, and only reports undocumented immigrants to U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they’re:
- Involved in terrorist, subversive or street gang activities
- Arrested for a violent felony
- Convicted of a non-violent felony
- Helping others enter the U.S. through fraud
“The police department does not plan to change policies at this point,” said police spokesperson Det. Crystal Nosal. “Citizens living or traveling through Arlington should not be worried that our actions will be changing.”
Nosal said the department wants witnesses and victims of crime to feel safe coming to the police, “regardless of immigration status.”
Arlington police will, however, continue to enforce all warrants from federal agencies, including immigration-related warrants.