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PWCPD Caves On FOIA Appeal

By Greg L | 25 June 2007 | Illegal Aliens, Prince William County | 19 Comments


After much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, the Prince William County Police Department finally has released General Order 26.05 “Jurisdiction and Arrest Procedures: Undocumented Immigrants” in response to a FOIA appeal filed on the behalf of Help Save Manassas by Judicial Watch. While repeatedly claiming that this is not a sanctuary policy in the three pages of explanatory verbiage that accompanies the document, it does in fact shield illegal aliens from any consequences should they violate a law that is punishable as anything other than a felony. This policy needs to be rescinded immediately.

It’s interesting that this policy was adopted no long after a well publicized enforcement action in Woodbridge which prompted Mexicanos Sin Fronteras director Ricardo Juarez to complain that the police department had violated it’s pledge to not enforce the law, and contains language that comes directly from illegal alien apologists (e.g. “undocumented immigrants”) that has no basis in federal, state or local law. Help Save Manassas has issued the following press release pointing out the problems with this policy and demanding that it be rescinded:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HELP SAVE MANASSAS CALLS ON PWC BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO RESCIND SANCTUARY POLICY

MANASSAS, VA: In response to an appeal filed on behalf of Help Save Manassas by Judicial Watch, the Prince William County Police Department has released General Order 26.05 entitled “Jurisdiction and Arrest Procedures: Undocumented Immigrants” which establishes the department’s policy regarding officer interactions with suspected illegal aliens. That order confirms that Prince William County is indeed a sanctuary jurisdiction for illegal aliens, despite claims by Chief Deane to the contrary.

The policy, which is available on the website of Help Save Manassas at http://www.helpsavemanassas.org/docs/pwcpd_foia_20070625.pdf, states that “Members [police officers] will not question any person about their citizenship or immigration status, unless that person is reasonably believed to be involved in one or more of the activities identified in section D.” That section lists several specific felony offenses, felony offenses in general, or persons who are wanted on an existing ICE detainer for a violent crime or felony offense. The effect of this policy is to prohibit the collection of information regarding a persons legal status in this country when they are suspected of committing anything other than a felony.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 clearly states that a federal, state or local government entity may not prohibit or in any way restrict the transmission of information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of any individual to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. By prohibiting police officers from questioning suspects regarding their legal status, they are effectively prohibiting the transmission of this information to ICE should the police officer choose to do so as he is permitted under federal law. Paragraph B of General Order 26.05 is contrary to federal law, and as a sworn officer who has pledged to uphold the law, Chief Deane has a moral and professional obligation to rescind this policy. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors similarly is obligated to exercise their oversight powers over the police department and direct that this policy be rescinded now that they have been fully informed.

This policy, which effectively provides sanctuary for illegal aliens as long as they do not commit felony offenses, poses a demonstrated risk to Virginia’s legal residents, citizens, and illegal aliens alike. Virginia residents have been killed by drunken illegal aliens who had previously had multiple interactions with local police departments for traffic violations and misdemeanor offenses. Illegal aliens who commit serious misdemeanor offenses such as assault and battery, reckless driving, stalking, violation of a protective order, driving while intoxicated, or indecent exposure are by policy prevented from being identified as illegal aliens. If police officers were allowed to use their discretion and report the legal status of these individuals to ICE, it is possible that repeat offenders could be deported before the severity of their offenses rise to the level of a felony. The current unlawful policy of the Prince William County Police Department deliberately prevents this from happening.

Despite Chief Deane’s assertions that “local law enforcement has very limited legal authority to address illegal immigration”, prior to the establishment of this policy the Prince William County Police Department was rather effective in doing so. A well publicized enforcement action at a 7-11 in Woodbridge in October of 2004 allowed eleven illegal aliens to be deported using the authority that this current policy now denies to police officers, for example. The Washington Post reported (”Some Laborers in VA Face Deportation”, Washington Post, Page A01, October 27th, 2004) statements from the director of Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, Ricardo Juarez, which seem to indicate that there was some sort of agreement between the Police Department and this illegal alien apologist group to only selectively enforce the law. Six months after this incident, General Order 26.05 was established which now prohibits precisely this sort of law enforcement activity and shields illegal aliens from the consequences of their behavior as long as they choose to violate laws which are not punishable as felonies.

This general order also inaccurately claims that county police officers have no statutory authority to arrest “undocumented immigrants” (a term not defined in federal, state or local law) when in fact there are several federal laws under which county police officers do have the authority to make arrests. Examples of these laws are Title 8, Section 1304, Subsection (e) of the United States Code (which requires all aliens to carry with them an alien registration receipt card), Section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 2005 (Bringing In and Harboring Illegal Aliens) and 18 U.S.C. 1028 (Felony Identification Document Fraud). Informing police officers that they do not have authority to enforce federal immigration law violations when federal statutes actually permit this is not only inaccurate, but helps shield illegal aliens from the valid and legal enforcement powers that local police officers actually do posses.

Because of these and numerous other problems with the legality and consequences of General Order 25.05, the membership of Help Save Manassas calls on Chief Deane and the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to immediately rescind this General Order, and engage in a discussion with the public in regards to what the policy of the Prince William County Police Department should be in regards to officer interactions with suspected or actual illegal aliens.

Let the fireworks begin, again.  This is a mess.



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19 Comments

  1. Maureen Wood said on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:25 pm:
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    There is a BOCS meeting tomorrow at 2:00pm. I suggest that anyone who can make it and speak to this issue should do so. I wish I could make it but I can’t.

  2. Greg L said on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:32 pm:
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    There will be citizen’s time at 7:30 tomorrow evening as well. I’m going to try to be there for some of the evening session.

  3. Loudoun Insider said on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:39 pm:
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    WTF? I really can’t believe that things have gotten so bad with regard to simply ENFORCING THE LAW. This is getting downright treasonous.

  4. anonymous said on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:46 pm:
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    Someone should ask Deane what the hell an “undocumented immigrant” is.

  5. Ted said on 25 Jun 2007 at 3:55 pm:
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    Re: “undocumented immigrant”.

    When you control the language, you control the debate. And right now the free borders/amnesty crowd is winning the language battle.

  6. The Patriot said on 25 Jun 2007 at 4:13 pm:
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    So I guess that taking our country over is as simple as not being documented? What the heck is wrong with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Good Time Charlie said on 25 Jun 2007 at 4:27 pm:
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    There you have it folks…….something that everyone who has ever been affiliated with the police dept. or local government agency already knows.

    CHARLIE DEANE CREATES POLICY WITH RESPECT TO HEADLINES AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION.

    It is time for him to go. He could care less about arrest numbers, enforcement, or individual safety unless a headline spins off. The reply he had for the Potomac News “Slamming the image of his department” tells you everything you need to know about him. It was a complete overreaction on his part because it’s really the only thing that remains important to him………image.

    If the reaction to this General Order becomes headlines………..he will rescind or change it in favor the majority. It’s how he conducts business on a daily basis. Based on working for him for over a decade I can tell you every general order that ever came out of his office had “public perception first” issues written into them.

    If you think this general order is screwed up………..you should get a look at the general order addressing departmental standards and conduct. Let me sum it up for you in one sentence. “If the Chief of Police interprets that you have become engaged in conduct that will help satisfy his urge to fire you without cause…….then brother pack your bags regardless of your employment history.”

    Do you feel as safe as you did 20 years ago? If not you can point the finger at the man at the top. My advise is to put a FOR SALE sign in your yard and move to a jurisdiction like Stafford. Where the schools are not loaded with gang members, and The Sheriff of Stafford-Charlie Jett appears to at least appreciate the aggressive suppression of crime in his jurisdiction. I can at least find deputies on patrol when I drive through Stafford. Wish I could say the same about PWC police officers, they’re too busy answering calls.

  8. rharrison said on 25 Jun 2007 at 4:32 pm:
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    Has anyone else noticed that GregL has done more investigating than all the investigators employed by our local papers? Imagine what he could do if someone paid him for this.

  9. Good Time Charlie said on 25 Jun 2007 at 6:15 pm:
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    Charlie Deane is trying to cover his tracks.
    I read the response he gave the county executive for the FOIA request. Hilarious how he just happened to be preparing to change the policy when the request was received. And he anticipated on changing the policy to include how ICE screening would be managed at the jail. Well Charlie Deane has a jail board position. Why hasn’t he already facilitated the steps to have ICE screening procedures in place. ADC personnel received ICE training regarding these issues at least a year ago, maybe two.

    He then points out his officers need clear instruction on ICE warrant hits, when to call ICE about criminal suspects, and continue to make clear (because it obviously hasn’t been done yet) that officers need justification for an immigration inquiry.

    Here it is……..without the spin:
    Charlie Deane should have addressed all of these measures in the first general order regarding jurisdiction and arrest procedures of undocumented immigrants. When ICE was formed under Homeland Security, local law enforcement agencies were given federal guidelines that didn’t need to be rewritten as local law enforcement officials saw fit. Charlie Deane didn’t want his department to be seen as thugs who have nothing better to do than pick on your tired, poor, and hungry so he came up with this hands off approach of dealing with this issue. And why not, it seemed safe…….no headlines. I worked for him too long not to know how he thinks.

    He’s now stalling and about to reverse his position because this topic has surfaced in the forefront of local issues. Does it really take 2 yrs. for your personnel to understand when they can justifiably check the immigration status of a contact? He also points a finger at jail overcrowding. My understanding of immigration detainees is that they are taken into custody by ICE officials within 72 hrs. Thus eliminating local crowding of jails. Charlie Dean’s response to the FOIA request was pure C.Y.A.

    As stated before, taking a stance on an issue based on law and order isn’t what our Police Chief is about. This is another example of allowing public opinion and headlines to dictate policy. I hope he is finally being exposed as the ineffective police official he has been for years.

    Under former Police Chief George T. Owens, illegal sanctuary wouldn’t be an issue today. It used to be a great police department, and a safe place to live.

  10. Lafayette said on 25 Jun 2007 at 7:10 pm:
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    I will be at the BOS Meetings, tomorrow, both of them infact. I will definately being speaking about this topic.
    Now who else is going to be there and speak? We really need to be visible and have our the legal citizens’ voices heard.

  11. anon said on 25 Jun 2007 at 8:35 pm:
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    Good Time Charlie said on 25 Jun 2007 at 6:15 pm: ADC personnel received ICE training regarding these issues at least a year ago, maybe two.

    This statement is false…the ADC staff just completed training less than two weeks ago. In addition you mentioned the fact that illegals must be picked up by ICE officials within 72 hours. If you are referring to this statement under the guise of the 287g program you again are wrong. Any illegal and I say illegal with purpose, that commits a crime MUST satisfy their sentence whether it state or local first! Which means if an illegal commits rape and receives 20 years in the Virginia State Prison…guess what? Although a detainer may have been lodged by trained ICE officials that illegal is NOT being deported until he/she satisfies that 20 year sentence. If an illegal commits lets say a felonious assault and receives 12 months then once that inmate satisfies that 10 and 1/2 month time then in 72 hours he/she is sent to a deportation holding that is only if he/she wasn’t given a bond on the actual “detainer” which is plausible. Another very possible scenario is if an illegal commits a felonious assault and is given a bond by the local magistrate and an ICE detainer is lodged, he/she may be given a no bond detainer by ICE, which is plausible as well and lets just say hypothetically this happens around 50 times in a month, guess what? Chief Deane is right on target with jail overcrowding. These folks would have otherwise bonded and now they must remain at the local jail, wait on court and final disposition before answering to the ICE detainer. Now 99 percent of you are saying horray, but this will very likely to substantially overcrowd and already overcrowded jail. Then what? I highly encourage any of you that are going to speak at the BOCS familiarize yourself with the limits and constraints of the 287g program. It is very complex and not as simple as a police officer walking up to a possible illegal and determining that they are here illegal and lodging a detainer for deportation…it does not work that way. Homeland Security oversees illegal immigration and the 287g program, they call the shots! This is where the attention needs to be focused! I am in total agreement with the problems of illegal immigration, but I cannot stress enough that it seems that fingers are being pointed in the wrong direction.

    And out of curiosity, how many of you have heard or know anything about a business on Peabody St. (Centro Hispanio) (I think) in the City of Manassas that is helping the illegals immigrants file paperwork to start the process for becoming a permanent resident????????? It would be interesting if this were true…Last Wednesday I drove by and the line to get in was at least 40 deep at 2:00 p.m. and again at 8:30…when I drove back by….

  12. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 25 Jun 2007 at 8:59 pm:
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    Great work, Greg!!!

  13. Lafayette said on 25 Jun 2007 at 9:09 pm:
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    anon 8:35
    Where on Peabody St. is this Centro Hispanio, and do you what kind of business this? I’m very curious about this. That’s HORRIFIC!!!! We need to do some digging on this.

  14. anon said on 25 Jun 2007 at 9:17 pm:
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    It is in the same building that some of the local bondsmen occupy…I believe it used to be an old apartment building. It intersects with Mosby….I don’t know what kind of business it is, however when I asked around I was told that this is a new place helping illegals start the process of obtaining their permanent residency….not sure but the sign reads “Centro Hispano” or something very close..I just caught it as I was driving by….

  15. anonymous said on 25 Jun 2007 at 10:23 pm:
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    I still say… put the responsibility of finding out if those committing crimes and appearing in court on the Judge. Let the Judge ask the perp for “documentation”. At that point, the Judge can have the perp held. The Courts need to take some responsibility in this and quit letting perps go with a slap on the wrist or a suspended sentence. Do you think we would get the same treatment if we were put into a Mexican jail?

  16. Good Time Charlie said on 26 Jun 2007 at 7:58 am:
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    Anon,
    Thank you for the corrections.

  17. Patty said on 26 Jun 2007 at 8:19 am:
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    Lafayette,

    I would like to go to the 2:00 p.m. meeting. Could I bring my 10 year old or should I find a sitter? Then I would need to know how long it would take. Let me know.

  18. Lafayette said on 26 Jun 2007 at 9:24 am:
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    Patty
    I would say find a sitter, if at all possible. It all depends on how many citizens have signed up to speak. I’m going earlier than usual today, so I can be signed up to speak and not have to wait until they ask “any other citizen wishing to speak, may do so at this time”. I say you’d be up here by 4pm, if you listed to all citizens speak. There is also a 7:30 meeting, if that works out better. If you don’t have any luck stop by, we’ve got 3 sitters here at my house.

  19. citizenofmanassas said on 27 Jun 2007 at 8:15 pm:
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    I don’t know if this has already been posted in another thread… But this is what Deane, Hill, and Skinner need to do. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070627/D8Q1AOKG0.html

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