Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the Federal Government to delegate power to state and local law enforcement agencies to uphold immigration laws.
Mayor Levar M. Stoney issued an alarming directive to residents in Richmond, VA. It read: “the Richmond Police Department will not consent to participate with the Immigration Customs Enforcement 287(g) agreements.” In addition to the Mayor’s refusal to comply with federal agencies, his mandate also violates 8 U.S.C. § 1324 of the U.S. code which prohibits the bringing in and harboring of illegal aliens.
This sanctuary city directive is thought to be a reaction of a petition started by an individual who opposes the Trump administration. The image on the petition displays the words “DEFY Trump, DEFEND Your city, EXPAND sanctuary.” Petition signers also took to social media under the hashtag #ICEoutofRVA.
Richmond, VA is hardly a place of sanctuary. It has a rate of violent crime and property crime greater than state and national average. The Virginia Senate is working on legislation to stop sanctuary cities from consuming the state for this very reason – they are illegal and dangerous.
A petition made the sanctuary directive a reality; there were just over 1,300 signatures when it was signed in to order on February 6th. We need a bigger petition to overturn Mayor Stoney’s decision.