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Jeanfromfillmore 08-04-2011 02:57 PM

Va. county sues feds to learn status of detained illegal immigrants
This will be discussed tonight at 7:00pm on SOS Radio with our guest Dave Gibson who lives in Va. and has a first hand perspective of the situation.

Va. county sues feds to learn status of detained illegal immigrants
Prince William County on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security demanding the release of records related to the status of criminal illegal immigrants the county has detained and transferred to the agency since 2008.
The county had filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain the records, but the department has not fulfilled the requests, according to the county.
A separate lawsuit, filed in March, demanded that DHS release a report detailing the circumstances behind the case of Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, an illegal immigrant who twice had been convicted of drunk driving before being charged with killing a Benedictine nun while driving drunk last August.
He was later charged with felony murder, driving on a suspended license, a third drunk-driving charge, and maiming as a result of drunk driving.
“We’ve waited a long time; we had to wait until we’ve exhausted all administrative remedies,” said Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart, at-large Republican. “It’s not just the Obama administration — it’s Congress as well. My criticism is of both parties.”
The county had asked Congress to subpoena ICE to obtain the whereabouts of the illegal immigrants it’s turned over to the agency.
Martinelly Montano had previously been released by the county into DHS custody and was awaiting a deportation hearing when the incident occurred.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called for an investigation at the time into why he had not been deported. A subsequent report from DHS released in response to a FOIA request from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch said that Martinelly Montano had been released by immigration authorities after showing that he was not a flight risk.
Gov. Bob McDonnell last September ordered the state Department of Motor Vehicles to stop accepting an Employment Authroization Document (EAD), or work permit, as proof of legal status. Martinelly Montano had used to document when applying for an identification card, according to police.
The county in 2007 passed a controversial law that drew national attention requiring police officers to check the immigration of every person taken into physical custodial arrest.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Prince William County is filing a second lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security seeking access to criminal immigration data.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Alexandria faults federal officials for ignoring a Freedom of Information Act request from the county. The request sought information on the status of more than 4,000 illegal immigrants arrested by local police and transferred into custody of federal immigration authorities.
Corey Stewart, chairman of the county's Board of Supervisors, says large numbers of illegal immigrants are being released rather than deported. More than 10 percent of those turned over to immigration authorities by the county have been re-arrested.
An earlier lawsuit seeking details on the case of an illegal immigrant charged with killing a nun in a drunken driving crash remains unresolved.

Jeanfromfillmore 08-04-2011 05:21 PM

Pr. William officials file lawsuit against DHS
By Jennifer Buske
Prince William County officials filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday, demanding information on the thousands of illegal immigrants the county has transferred to DHS.
The lawsuit asks DHS to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed last year that asked for the information on the 3,000 immigrants Prince William has sent to DHS since 2008. County officials said another 1,000 immigrants have been turned over since the FOIA request.
“It is frustrating that we as a local government must resort to suing the federal government to get information, which the public has a right to know and which is vital to our law enforcement efforts,” Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said. “I’m disappointed in the lack of cooperation from DHS.”
This is the second lawsuit Prince William has filed against DHS. Both were prompted by an August 2010 car accident in which Carlos Martinelly-Montano, 24, was allegedly driving drunk when he crashed into a car carrying three nuns, killing one.
Martinelly-Montano entered the country from Bolivia illegally when he was 8. He had been released by immigration authorities after two previous drunk-driving convictions and had been awaiting a deportation hearing.
The first lawsuit was filed in March after DHS failed to comply with a FOIA request that asked for information containing to Martinelly-Montano’s case and how he had been able to be released back into the community.
Homeland Security officials, who have spoken to The Post anonymously, have said they have looked into why Martinelly-Montano was released back into the community, however will not make those results public.
Martinelly-Montano has since been charged with felony murder, maiming resulting from driving drunk, involuntary manslaughter, driving on a suspended or revoked license and for driving while intoxicated for the third time in five years. He is scheduled to appear in Prince William Circuit Court in November.
Stewart said he is also frustrated with Congress for their lack of involvement. In February, county officials asked Congress to subpoena the information from DHS since the agency was not answering the county’s FOIA request. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), however, had already made a run for the information, sending a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in October.
“I am frustrated with the dismissive attitude of Congress, which has failed to compel DHS to turn over this information,” Stewart said. “Frankly, the Republicans in the House of Representatives are just as dismissive as the Obama administration on this issue.”

Homeland Security sued over illegal immigrant records
WASHINGTON -- Prince William County is suing the Department of Homeland Security for the second time over the release of records on illegal immigrants.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart says the county still has not received information on what happened to more than 4,000 illegal immigrants turned over to the federal government since 2007.
They were transferred from a local jail to federal custody, but Stewart says 10 percent of them have been re-arrested in Prince William County for other crimes.
He considers them a "threat to the community."
"Every one of these individuals was convicted of a crime for which they were arrested, so these are not traffic violations," Stewart says.
The county first sued Homeland Security six months ago trying to get information on the release of Carlos Montano, an illegal immigrant accused of driving drunk in an accident that killed a Benedictine nun one year ago.
He was released from federal custody despite a previous DUI charge.
In 2007, Prince William county adopted a strict policy of checking the immigration status of everyone arrested.
Prince William county has tried to get information on those transferred inmates using the Freedom of Information Act, but Stewart says the response provided by Homeland Security was incomplete.
A spokeswoman for the agency says they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

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