FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. -- Fairfax for All, a local coalition of immigrant rights activists and organizations, is calling for Fairfax County to stop helping ICE in deporting undocumented immigrants, while demanding ‘equal justice for all people’.
The group gathered Tuesday in effort to put an end to collaborations between Fairfax county and ICE, saying it sows fear and weakens trust between the community and law enforcement.
“We need to go beyond the words and beautiful language celebrating diversity. We need to be protecting diversity.”, said Sookyung Oh of NAKASEC during the demonstration.
In a declaration by Fairfax County residents, two out of a list of six demands calls for the county to end its Intergovernmental Services Agreement with ICE and that traffic stops by police no longer lead to the detention and deportation of members of the immigrant community.
Alexis Kassim with the DMV Sanctuary Network said that issue hit especially close to home.
“Someone close to me this morning was racially profiled by the police and harassed in a traffic stop… Was asked why are you driving this fancy car? How can you afford this? I noticed you had an accent? Where are you from? How did you get here? And, I was appalled. As someone who’s lived here my whole life, this is not the Fairfax County I know.”, she said.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roesseler Jr. said that he has a working relationship with many of the coalition members and that his department has a mission to fight crime.
“I can assure every community member in Fairfax County that you should have absolute confidence and trust in your police department that when you are a victim of crime, you can call 911. We are not in the business of deportation as a police department.”, said Chief Roesseler.
Chief Roesseler has said that he will investigate Kassim’s claims and says if the allegations are true, those involved would face disciplinary action which could include termination.