Immigration debate rekindles issues in Va.

WOODBRIDGE,Va. (WUSA9) -- The detainment of hundreds of immigrant children in the southwest part of the United States has rekindled a long standing debate over illegal immigration in Virginia.

Prince William county is again the focal point and there may be yet another lawsuit.

The county began checking the immigration status of anyone arrested by local police in 2008 despite heated debate and protest. The confrontation over the issue reached a peak after the conviction of illegal immigrant Carlos Montano in 2012 for a drunk driving accident which killed a local nun.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the Prince William county wants to know again what happened to the 7,000 illegal immigrants local police arrested for crimes that were turned over to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart says they are renewing their efforts to get that information because of the renewed interest in illegal immigration country wide. He wants to know where each of the people is, either in jail, deported or where they are living.

But Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg from Legal Aide Justice Center says statistics on what happened to those people would be useful and he'd like to see them too, but revealing individual names and locations would be an invasion of privacy.

The first lawsuit filed by the county board of supervisors was rejected by the courts in 2011.

Stewart says they will file another one to get the information if their freedom of information request from I-C-E doesn't come soon.


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