Northern Virginia County Standing Alone In Immigration Policy

September 19, 2007

Lawmakers in Arlington are not following a trend in surrounding counties with their immigration policies.

The county board unanimously approved a new resolution and says that elected officials should promote the integration of immigrants instead of divisive policies.

The resolution strongly rebuked lawmakers in other northern Virginia areas, saying that those restrictions on illegal immigrants are politically inspired, irresponsible and punitive. The Arlington officials made it clear they would not follow their neighbors' steps and would not take any actions that would restrict services or discourage immigrants from reporting crimes to police.

In other counties, police might start checking immigration status of people they stop. The officials did say that the county would continue to prosecute illegal immigrants who commit crimes. But they say they will treat all residents with dignity and respect.

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