Civil liberties organization says resolution passed by the County Board of Supervisors runs counter to principles of equality and Commission’s goals

Richmond, VA - The ACLU of Virginia today urged members of the Prince William County Human Rights Commission to oppose the anti-immigrant resolution passed by the County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The Commission meets tonight to discuss the proposal. Citizens will be allowed to speak.
“By effectively targeting for discrimination the entire Latino community, this resolution violates the core principle of equal protection under the law,” said ACLU of Virginia executive director Kent Willis “The proposed measure will not solve the problems of illegal immigration and will likely worsen problems for the County by forcing people to operate in the shadows of society rather than integrate into the community.”
“The Human Rights Commission was established to ensure that the rights of all Prince William community members are protected under the law and that they are afforded an ‘equal opportunity to participate in the benefits, rights, and privileges of community life,’” added Willis. “It is our hope that the Commissioners will see that this resolution runs counter to their mission, and that they will let the Board of Supervisors know that.”
The proposed measure requires police officers to inquire about the immigration status of any person they detain if they have probable cause to believe the person is in violation of federal immigration law. It also permits county personnel to check a person's immigration status to determine eligibility for federal, state, or local benefits.
A copy of the ACLU’s letter, faxed this afternoon to Prince William County Human Rights Commission Chair Curtis O. Porter can be found at http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/20070712-Pr-William-Immigration-Ord-HRC.pdf.

Contact: Kent Willis, (office) 804/644-8022

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