Arlington Co. outlines policy framework to ‘strengthen trust with immigrant community’

Virginia

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Arlington County is considering a proposed policy framework with the goal of increasing trust among immigrants in the community.

The county is aiming to protect the rights of all residents, regardless of immigration or citizenship status. The Arlington County Board of Supervisors released a draft of framework that considers factors, such as public services and protection of public information.

Through the policy, the county aims to ensure immigrants can access county benefits and services without fear that their information will be disclosed to federal immigration officials.

“Arlington County’s vision is to be a welcoming and inclusive community for all residents, regardless of immigration or citizenship status. We enacted resolutions and policies in 2017, and before that in 2010 and 2007 to put our vision into action, but want to reaffirm current County policy and build trust with our immigrant communities and families,” said Matt de Ferranti, Chair of the Arlington County Board.

Now, the county is now asking for the public’s feedback on the policy, sparking conversations with residents and non-profit community partners.

“In an effort to do what you think is the best thing, you may not necessarily have included everybody who can contribute to that conversation as part of your policy makings,” said board member Christian Dorsey. “It’s a great opportunity to hear from people affected by these particular areas who may have ideas that were not a part of the initial policy development.”

After the initial feedback is received, a policy will be shared with the community in November. Additional feedback will be collected before a vote on adoption to the county by the end of the year.

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