WaPo, LA Times: Immigration Enforcement Is Not Working
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Northern Virginia is one of the places where the immigration debate has been the most heated. In August, we reported on the effect of authorizing local law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of people who are arrested. Due to stepped up enforcement the Latino population in the city of Manassas and Prince William County has plummeted.
There has also been a sharp increase in the number of people detained on immigration charges. Yesterday, the Washington Post -which has reported extensively on the immigration issue in the D.C. area- ran an article that provides a stark portrait of the system set up to deport those people.
Reporters Nick Miroff and Josh White write,
Illegal immigrants detained as part of the stepped-up enforcement effort in Virginia stay in the country far longer than they should because of a detention and deportation system beset by waste and dysfunction, according to lawyers, detainee accounts and observations of courtroom proceedings.
The article details the case of a legal immigrant from Paraguay who was kept in jail for 30 days "accused of lying about a two-decade-old criminal violation by federal agents who then misplaced his file." He was then freed, but he told the newspaper he met inmates who had been at the Virginia Beach jail for five or ten months. His case was not an exception, the Post says: