ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va – The Rockingham County Board of Supervisors will make a decision Wednesday night on a controversial immigration law.
The law, known as 287G has been in place for the last three years, but it just expired. It gives local law enforcement officers the authority to enforce immigration laws.
One immigrant in the community said the law targets the wrong people.
Isabel Castillo admits she is in the United States undocumented. She moved to this country when she was 6-years-old and has received her education here. She said the Immigration and Custom Enforcement Act, or 287G, is not doing what it was made to do.
"The purpose of this program is to deport high priority cases, you know, felons, serious criminals and we've seen that that's not the case," said Castillo.
She said the group 'Virginia Organizing' found that more than 80-percent of immigrants who were deported under this law had to leave for minor infractions, like traffic tickets.
Castillo said the law is putting people, like her, in danger for no reason.
"Being here in this country without status, without document is not a crime. It's actually a civil infraction. I'm actually undocumented myself, that doesn't make me a criminal. It's a civil infraction to be here."
The Rockingham County sheriff said he will ask the board of supervisors to extend this law, since it just expired. Both the board and the sheriff need to sign off on it, but people, like Castillo, hope that does not happen.
"Our system is broken. Our immigration system is broken. We need comprehensive immigration reform and we don't need these enforcement programs that are just separating innocent individuals and leaving U.S. citizen children without their mother or without their father."
While immigrants, like Castillo, said this law is not just, others said those people are here illegally, so law enforcement has every right to deport them.
Castillo said the law should not get rid of people who are productive in the community like herself. She said the law should just get rid of the criminals instead.
We will have an update to this story after the board of supervisors meeting. Stay tuned to WHSV.com for the latest information.
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