The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 72/No. 12      March 24, 2008

Workers in Virginia protest bill empowering
local cops to enforce federal immigration law
WOODBRIDGE, Virginia, March 2—More than 1,000 workers packed two successive meetings today on the eve of the implementation of a new law empowering Prince William County police to enforce federal immigration law. The meetings were organized by Mexicanos Sin Fronteras (Mexicans Without Borders), an immigrant rights group that led several large marches and rallies opposing the law as it was being debated last year.

“We don’t want to create more fear,” Ricardo Juárez, a leader of the group, told the meeting. “We want to provide clear information so that you can make clear decisions.”

Immigration lawyer Linda Johnson stressed the constitutional right to remain silent in the face of police questioning.

“You have the right to remain silent. You don’t have the right to not be arrested,” Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, later told the press.

“A lot of people are scared, but we have to keep fighting,” José Rivas, 30, a construction worker from El Salvador, told the Militant.

Edgar Rivera Montecino, 32, a painter from Honduras, held a sign in English and Spanish that read “Thank you Prince William for separating our families … now we are more united than ever!” He said a friend who is facing deportation proceedings and has been forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet by immigration authorities helped make the sign.
Related articles:
Chicago conference plans actions for legalization
Immigrant workers plan May 1 march in Houston  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home