VERONA, Va., July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In a press conference today, Nexus Services CEO Mike Donovan—accompanied by retired INS special agent Neville W. Cramer, Nexus General Counsel Gordon Turner, Nexus Executive Vice President Evan Ajin and Harriet Tubman Center Executive Director Stan Maclin—called upon federal and state authorities to investigate whether Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith violated any laws with a recent immigrant arrest.
As it was recently reported, officials with a new task force of the Augusta County Sheriff's Office arrested undocumented immigrants along I-81; however, pursuant to state and federal statutes, local law enforcement officials, like Sheriff Smith and his officers, are not allowed to detain undocumented immigrants for being in the country illegally.
Nexus Services Inc. CEO Mike Donovan issued the following statement:
"We are calling upon Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate whether the Augusta County Sheriff's office and Sheriff Donald Smith violated federal and state laws by detaining undocumented immigrants on I-81 without any legal authority. Sheriff Smith should know that racial discrimination and marginalizing immigrants has no place in our society. Federal law is settled on this issue, and local police do not have the authority to arrest undocumented immigrants who are otherwise not committing a crime (Santos v. Frederick County Board of Commissioners). State law also restricts such arrests (Virginia code 19.2-81.6). Sheriff Smith owes the people of Augusta County and immigrant families a clear answer. Federal authorities should investigate these arrests to determine if any civil rights have been violated."
SOURCE Nexus Services Inc.