For Immediate Release: October 24, 2012
What: Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Meeting
When: October 24, 2012 — 6 p.m.
Where: Rockingham County Government Building (20 E. Gay Street, Harrisonburg)
Harrisonburg, VA: Dozens of Virginia Organizing leaders plan to pack the Board of Supervisors meeting tonight in opposition to 287(g) agreements that have devastated so many families in the Shenandoah Valley. Since 2007, Rockingham County has participated in the 287(g) program, which deputizes local police officers to enforce immigration law.
The intent of the 287(g) agreement is to deport immigrants who commit felonies or serious offenses. However the execution of this law has been more broadly applied to include those who commit traffic violations or other minor civil offenses.
Virginia Organizing reviewed the deportation records in Rockingham and found that 88 percent of those deported in the area were classified in lower-level offense categories such as traffic violations.
Virginia Organizing and other organizations conducted a listening project on this issue and discovered through interviews of local people that of the more than 120 Latinos interviewed, 70 percent expressed a fear of police.
Virginia Organizing Harrisonburg Chapter leader Fernando Perez believes this meeting is an opportunity for local people directly affected by immigration to show the Board of Supervisors that real people care about this issue.
Perez said, "During this whole process we have relied on community support and input and to make a difference we need to show the breadth of this support by filling the chairs during the meeting. Tonight is part of a final push for a change in the 287(g) agreement."
To speak to a Virginia Organizing spokesperson about tonight's meeting, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or email@example.com.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.