Prince Willliam County will sue the Department of Homeland Security to find out the whereabouts of all criminal illegal immigrants who were taken into federal custody.  Previous FOIA attempts have gone unanswered. 

The county received no information regarding what appeared to be irregular protocol with Carolos Martinelly Montano.  Martinelly was charged with causing the drunk driving accident that killed the Benedictine nun Sister Denise Mosier last summer. 

The supervisors are also requesting a full Congressional investigation to find out where everyone processed through the county 287(g) program is.  The county has no idea if those turned over to ICE were deported, imprisoned or released. 

These issues were discussed in closed session and voted on at the end of the BOCS meeting today.

.According the News and Messenger:

The county had requested both pieces of information in two separate Freedom of Information requests. The feds originally told the county that they would respond to the Montano case request by Monday. However, according to county spokesman Jason Grant, the county received nothing from the feds regarding this request.

After failing in its second FOIA request, the county recently sent a letter to the House of Representatives’ subcommittee on immigration requesting a subpoena of Immigration & Customs Enforcement records on the whereabouts of all criminal illegal immigrants processed through the 287 (g) program. Now, they want a full-scale investigation.

“They are obviously being secretive, and they are hiding something,” said county  Chairman Corey A. Stewart.

Brentsville Supervisor W.S. “Wally” Covington III, who made the motion to pursue the matter legally, said the county police have been trying to identify the whereabouts of the criminal illegals for the last two years but have been stonewalled. And in some cases, said Covington, the feds have snatched some of these individuals before they went through the county’s legal process.

“At times, they come back [to the county] with charges unresolved,” Covington said. “That just makes a bunch of new old cases.”

On Aug. 2, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered an investigation to determine why the deportation process for Martinelly Montano took so long.
After receiving no response from its FOIA request, Washington-based government watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in December demanding the release of the results of that investigation.

Is Judicial Watch a bi-partisan group?  Will the BOCS use any information they find out to determine if the 287(g) program is worth continuing?  What is it they hope to achieve?   Is this just another election ploy? 

27 Thoughts to “Prince William County to sue homeland security”

  1. Does Judicial Watch have to be a “bi-partisan” group? And who would determine that?

    1. @cargo, just a question. Actually, Judicial Watch is who I thought they were. They name their top ten most corrupt politicians each year.

      I would say they are not exactly neutral and their criteria for making such pronouncements is not particularly transparent. I hope our BOCS would make decisions based on information from more neutral groups. I would also like to know how each member voted.

  2. Starryflights

    Judicial Watch is a wacko conspiracy group that, among other things, demanded that the Pentagon release videos of the plane that struck it on 9/11, to see if it really was a plane – or something more!

  3. Censored bybvbl

    Lawsuit = political grandstanding without considering the consequences.

    Many detainees are witnesses in gang related investigations. Want that snitch’s info to be public?

    Want the feds to get fed up with the program, all the paperwork demanded by political panderers such as Stewart, and do away with the program as not being cost effective?

    Want to pay far more in taxes to hire more ICE agents and clerks? Don’t look at cutting my parks, arts, or other programs because of your conservative fear-factor.

    Now I’m off to take my morning walk in the crime-ridden country-side of PWC.

  4. hello

    Judicial Watch a bi-partisan group? Does it matter in this situation?

    Will the BOCS use any information they find out to determine if the 287(g) program is worth continuing? I suppose, if we are turning over criminal illegal aliens only to have them appear right back in our county with charges unresolved then what’s the point?

    What is it they hope to achieve? Hmmm… the whereabouts of criminal illegal aliens they turn over maybe? Just a hunch…

    Is this just another election ploy? Really? Public safety is just a ploy now?

  5. Lafayette

    It’s quite frustrating to see all of the good work we do at the ADC, only for ICE or Federal Judges to allow this criminals back on our streets. We do the “hard” work of processing and determining the status, only for the Feds to continue to fail on their end.

    It’s really start to look like an election ploy in my eyes. I guess Wally’s up next on the rotation. First it was Wally that sent a letter asking for reimbursement from the Feds. Then John Stirrup introduced the resolution, then Corey ran with the resolution. Is there a pattern here? 🙂

  6. I don’t think the lawsuit is unreasonable. The county asked for this information a long time ago. There is no reason they were not given it. We are, after all, footing the bill for ICE.

    ICE information does not have to be disbursed to the county or citizens in a way that would jeopardize pending court cases, public safety, security, etc. For example, numbers, not names, could be used and legally be justified. Accurate, clear stats that cannot be interpreted at the whim of lying politicians (read Stewart) can be just as revealing as anything else.

    As for Montano, again, there is no reason the county should not know what happened to him. If he is somewhere in the country because he is awaiting the next step in the process, that location need not be revealed for security reasons.

    My concern here is first, that the lawsuit will be costly, and second, that the results will be used to defame ICE and turn back the clock to the original resolution. If I see those “Corey Stewart–Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration” banners flying again, I am going to puke.

  7. BTW, when I refer to “criminals,” I mean violent criminals or criminals like Montano who have killed someone, even accidentally.

  8. @Lafayette
    I also don’t think asking for reimbursement from the feds is unreasonable. In doing so, Covington has admitted this is a federal problem.

    Now, should he start openly loving on Stewart, I would have a serious problem. Stewart is…well, let’s not go there.

  9. @Moon-howler
    “I hope our BOCS would make decisions based on information from more neutral groups.”

    Don’t hold your breath.

  10. Lafayette

    FYI-I didn’t say anything the BoS was asking for was unreasonable. Remember, I fought hard for the resolution. My point was merely the possiblilty of an election ploy. All Supervisors need to be challenged this year. Enough of some running UNCHALLENGED and raise a bunch of money to boot. (Developer money)

  11. @Lafayette
    Oh I agree that every member of the BOCS should be challenged. I was disappointed in the last election that no one stepped up to the plate. I wrote in our school principal.

    You could be right that this is a ploy. The problem is, it’s a well timed and reasonable ploy in some ways.

    Every time I see a violent crime committed by a criminal who is here illegally, I cringe. It’s one more nail in the coffin for all immigrants, particularly Hispanic/Latino/Spanish speaking immigrants who are, by and large according to the stats, good people.

  12. Lafayette

    @Posting as Pinko
    said..You could be right that this is a ploy. The problem is, it’s a well timed and reasonable ploy in some ways.

    And the same was true of the resolution last election cycle. The timing was/is perfect. 😉

  13. @Lafayette
    Damn that timing thing.

    You know, for once, I would like to see a positive story about the Latino community that has nothing to do with illegal immigration.

  14. Perfect timing is right. This ‘lawsuit’ falls right in line with the timing of the original resolution that cost the county a fortune and really has reaped no rewards. (if it had done what it was intended to do why would they be suing?)

    Hello, it is my style to ask questions at the end of most thread posts. Do not put words in my mouth.

    Why is it every time you post I have to put my mother hat on and tell you how to behave?

  15. @Moon-howler
    Again, my concern: are they trying to gather ammunition to go back to the original resolution? Hasn’t AZ taught us anything?

  16. Pinko, I am confused. Montano is residing in beautiful downtown Manassas at the ADC. He will remain there, I assume, until his trial.

    I don’t think jurisdictions ever learn the disposition of persons they turn over to ICE. I am not saying this is a good thing. However, who pays for it if the system changes? Less spending, less spending mantra will be hard to listen to in this case.

    These notifications take time and money. Who pays for this lawsuit? How much will we owe lawyers? Where was the citizen input on the county undertaking this kind of expense that might run on for years?

    Here we go again.

  17. @Moon-howler
    I know. Here we go again. And yes, cost is another one of my concerns, especially since the tax rate will possibly rise this year.

    I didn’t realize Montano was at the ADC.

  18. Mom

    Let me get this straight, one of the bureaucrats employed by our ever so efficient Federal Government promised a response by Monday, it didn’t arrive by Tuesday so our BOCS, a modicum of transparency, is going to file suit because they believe DHA is “obviously being secretive, and they are hiding something”.

    Bwahahaha, good luck with that Wally, Corey and Angela. Before this bunch of grandstanding rubes voted to pursue legal action on a FOIA request, perhaps at least one, and particularly the County Attorney, should have done a little homework or at least bothered to read Title 5. Unlike the Commonwealth’s FOIA statute, the Federal statutes are chock full of exemptions from disclosure and lack any hard deadlines for actual fulfillment of a FOIA request. Note I said fulfillment and not initial response.

    There is a substantial difference between having twenty days respond to the intial request and actually fulfilling the request. DHS’s only real immediate responsiblity is to provide the County notice that they have received the request and are working on it. They are no hard and fast deadlines for actually providing the information requested. As a matter of fact, few if any Federal agencies fulfill FOIA requests in what could be considered a timely manner, generally the FOIA offices are understaffed, underbudget and swamped with requests. Hell, FDA tells you up front it will take about five years and the SEC doesn’t even acknowledge your request for months.

    So the County has a problem with the Feds slow response, hey Corey, get in line and be aware its a long line.

  19. George S. Harris

    We continue to reelect these “rubes”–Mom’s great term–and then wonder why they do what they do. We elect ’em and so we get what we deserve. I wonder why this follows an Arizona lawsuit against the federal government over illegal immigration. Maybe spring is here early and the goofballs are sprouting like crocus. I wonder if a citizen’s group could sue the BOCS to cut off funding for something like this?

  20. @George, we are trying to do better.


    How much is this costing the county? re US

  21. marinm

    …most transparent government, EVER.

    If the federales won’t follow the law and provide the information under FOIA (you would think that they would’ve cited an exemption already) then I say let’s file for a writ of mandamus and git ‘r done.

    Mom, if the federales tae 5 years to respond to a citizens request — maybe we don’t need that agency anymore.

  22. Rick Bentley

    Glad to hear about this. Proud of my county.

  23. George S. Harris

    I haven’t seen anybody raise the issue yet, but what is to be done with the material once the BOCS has it? Are they going to find all the folks, arrest them again, put them back in jail only to have them turned losse again? Of course they will use the inforamtion to ballyhoo their efforts to “clean up” the county. I haven’t seen anyone ask what it will cost to persue the lawsuit or does anyone care? I want to know why this was done behind closed doors with no public input. I have written to Marty Nohe and got the standard, “I am going to refer this to the County Attorney.” Surely costs, use of the information, etc were discussed–we just weren’t privy to it. Remember that AG Cuccinelli said it wasn’t going to cost anything to persue his lawsuits against the federal government. How much do you think it has cost. And remember the whole thing was a cabal–we need legislation to invalidate the mandatory requirement to purchase health insurance, joila, a bill (from Marshall I think) and it passes. Now Cucukoo has the grounds for a lawsuit. Funny how that crap works. Let’s hope Cuccinelli and the governor have deep pockets because we are going to have to fill them.

  24. George S. Harris

    Why are you “proud of my county?” They are going to take money out of your pocket to pay the cost of the lawsuit. Dumb–just plain DUMB!

  25. George S. Harris

    @Posting as Pinko
    No Arizona hasn’t taught us anything since they are also suing the Federal government–a different reason but it more than likely provided impetus for our Board of Stupidvisors to file a suit.

  26. marinm

    @George S. Harris

    I think you meant to direct your comment/question at Rick and not myself.

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