February 17, 2017

Kaine Calls For Answers About ICE Raid Near Alexandria Church

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine wrote a letter requesting that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials provide details on the operation that may have targeted a church shelter in Alexandria, Virginia, which reports indicate led to the arrest of six Latino men.

“This incident is of great concern to me because members of this congregation believe that this church was targeted by your agency,” said Kaine. “I appreciate any detailed information you can provide about this operation.  I would like to know how many people your officers detained, where ICE brought them, whether they remain in custody, and whether any of these individuals have a criminal record.”

Earlier this week, Kaine introduced legislation with U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and 18 of their Senate colleagues that would rescind President Trump’s Executive Order on Interior Enforcement, which directs the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the deportation of a vast majority of undocumented immigrants living and contributing to U.S. communities and drives undocumented communities deeper into the shadows by charging local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. Kaine also introduced legislation to ban discriminatory profiling by all levels of law enforcement nationwide.

Below is the full text of Kaine’s letter:

February 17, 2017 

Adonnis Smith
Assistant Field Office Director
Enforcement & Removal Operations
Washington Field Office
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Dear Mr. Smith,

I write seeking information regarding an incident on February 8th, 2017, that was brought to my attention by constituents, which involved ICE agents and which occurred across the street from a church in Alexandria, Virginia.  This incident is of great concern to me because members of this congregation believe that this church was targeted by your agency.

I am told that around 6:45 a.m., a group of men left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church on Russell Road and were surrounded by about a dozen ICE agents after they crossed the street.  According to witnesses, ICE arrested about six Latino men and took them away in two vans.  Several witnesses further indicated that ICE agents questioned and scanned the fingerprints of anyone they encountered.

I appreciate any detailed information you can provide about this operation.  I would like to know how many people your officers detained, where ICE brought them, whether they remain in custody, and whether any of these individuals have a criminal record.

Thank you for your time and attention to this case.

Sincerely,

Tim Kaine

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