A Virginia police officer is having to undergo remedial training and will have to serve a suspension after he reported an individual he believed to be an illegal immigrant to federal immigration authorities.
Fox News reports the unidentified officer from Fairfax, Virginia, found the suspected individual on September 21 when he responded to a car accident.
According to the report, one of the drivers did not have a Virginia driver’s license. The officer subsequently looked the individual up with the state Department of Motor Vehicles and noticed “the driver had a violation for failing to appear for a deportation hearing.”
“The officer verified the warrant and alerted officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Fox News adds.
Virginia police officer suspended after turning illegal alien over to ICE https://t.co/HjAuYDDNNJ
— Matt Wolking (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@MattWolking) October 2, 2019
An ICE agent was close by and arrived at the scene. The officer cited the driver for not having a driver’s license and turned them over to the federal agent.
The Fairfax County Police Department enacted a 2007 policy that prohibits officers from confirming a person’s immigration status and detaining them solely based on civil violations of immigration law.
“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said. “We have trained on this issue a lot. This is the first time we’ve had a lapse in judgment, and the officer is being punished.”
The police chief went on to apologize for his officer’s actions, saying: “Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE.”
Fox News adds:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The officer involved has been on the job for a few years, Roessler told The Washington Post. He added that the officer did not willfully violate the department’s policy with respect to cooperating with immigration officials.
He said the officer will undergo remedial training.