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Immigration Group to Receive County Human Rights Award

The Arlington Coalition Against the Secure Communities Program, which successfully lobbied the county board to attempt to opt out of the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, will receive the county’s James B. Hunter Human Rights Award later this week.

According to a press release, the coalition “assisted Arlington Board Member Walter Tejada in the development of a resolution he introduced in late September.” The resolution passed unanimously. Ultimately, the county determined that it was not practically possible to opt out of the program.

“Leading up to the vote, coalition members distributed thousands of petitions, fact sheets and emails to residents and organized and engaged in public forums to discuss the flaws of the Secure Communities program,” the coalition said in a statement. “The work to stop the program is far from over but the Coalition remains steadfast in its mission to halt the Secure Communities program because it encourages racial profiling, destroys families, destroys the trust in police and circumvents our criminal justice system.”

The coalition will receive its award at 7:00 Thursday night at the county board room. Last year’s winners of the James B. Hunter Award included the Arlington Food Assistance Center, the Literary Council of Northern Virginia, a pastor who worked to help those with AIDS and an attorney who helps the elderly and those with disabilities. The award is presented by the Arlington Human Rights Commission.

The Arlington Coalition Against the Secure Communities Program consists of:

  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Church
  • St. Charles of Borromeo
  • Tenants and Workers United
  • Rights Working Group
  • Legal Aid Justice Center
  • Laborers International Union of N. America
  • Guatemala Avansa
  • Bolivia Avansa
  • National Day Laborer Organizing Network
  • Private Arlington residents

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