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County Board to Consider Immigration Enforcement Resolution

It’s not listed on the official agenda, but this afternoon the county board is expected to take up a resolution that could affect the way immigration laws are enforced in Arlington.

According to a group that supports the “controversial” resolution, its passage would “limit participation” by Arlington police in the federal Secure Communities program and would make Arlington the first Virginia county to “take measures protecting the sanctity of local law enforcement.”

“We support the Board’s efforts to distinguish Arlington law officers from federal immigration agents,” Tenants and Workers United spokesperson Esteban Garces said in a statement. “This resolution in an important step in the right direction. We fully expect continued leadership from local officials on this important issue.”

Tenants and Workers United is one of about a dozen immigrant advocacy groups that are expected to attend the board meeting at 3:30 this afternoon. The resolution will likely be taken up at the beginning of the meeting, during board reports. Board member Walter Tejada will introduce the resolution, but his assistant and county communications staff were unable to provide a text of the resolution.

Currently, Arlington Police only report undocumented immigrants directly to federal authorities in the event of serious crimes. By Virginia law, however, anyone booked at the Arlington County jail has their fingerprints taken and sent to the state, which in turn checks the fingerprints with FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement databases.

On its web site, Arlington County says it “complies with all federal and state laws related to immigration” but adds that “it is not the role of Arlington County law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws.”

It’s unclear at this time what effect, if any, the resolution will have on current policy.

See our update on the county board’s vote here.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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