In a tweet, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Ken Cuccinelli urged police officers to work with ICE despite the policies of individual departments, while National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes said the officer was simply protecting his community.
“All police officers at every level take an oath to enforce the law — not just laws that are politically agreeable to elected officials in their jurisdictions,” Yoes said in a statement. “If politicians don’t like the law, they should make an effort to amend the law.”
Roessler apologized for the incident Tuesday, saying the unnamed officer had violated a long-standing department policy against helping ICE enforce civil immigration violations.
“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,” Roessler said in a statement.
The officer encountered the driver in the Groveton area of Fairfax County on Sept. 21 after responding to a traffic accident, police said. The driver did not have a driver’s license, and a search of the person’s Department of Motor Vehicles information turned up an immigration violation for failing to show up for a deportation hearing, police said.
The officer reported the driver to ICE and held the individual until an agent arrived. The driver was also issued a ticket for driving without a license.