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Thread by @socialistdogmom: "the albemarle charlottesville regional jail board is meeting today to vote on their policy of voluntarily notifying ICE of inmate release da […]"

83 tweets, 11 min read
the albemarle charlottesville regional jail board is meeting today to vote on their policy of voluntarily notifying ICE of inmate release dates. guards outside the jail are turning away members of the public, saying there is no parking at this public meeting.
they’re advising people to park at the food lion .5mi away. the guard i spoke to said they have NOT confirmed this is ok with the property owners at the shopping center &he is “not responsible” for the safety of people walking along the busy road with no sidewalks or crosswalks.
we showed up anyway. 20-30 members of the public are here, some inside to make public comments, most outside here in the overflow picnic shelter, watching on big old tube TVs. members of the press have been denied access to the building.
public meeting called to order. the first order of business is a unanimous vote to give the jail superintendent a raise to $115,000, retroactive to july 1.
“our jail takes care of people the way they’re supposed to,” says the board chair.
due to the number of people signed up to speak, they are moving the business manager financial audit to the next meeting to save time today.
“this is not a public hearing. it’s public comment,” says the board chair. speakers are limited to two minutes.
before the meeting began, the public was warned that they would not tolerate any disruptions, including snapping and “holding signs in a threatening manner.”
don’t forget the school board meeting last month that was canceled ten minutes in because of the very threatening and disruptive snapping of fingers from members of the public 🙄
the first speaker is the chairman of the charlottesville republican committee. (he’s interrupted by an announcement over the jail’s PA system that the internet is down.)
he’s concerned that “the people selected to enforce the law selectively ignore it” and argues that it is a matter of “public safety” and these “illegal aliens” have “no right to be here.”
he says he is a first generation american.
sit down, mike.
next speaker says the board is “being pressured by well organized groups” to stop notifying ICE. she says they responsible for the “good people” of greene & nelson county, “not outside groups” (the “well organized” groups out here are all local, for the record)
chairman of the albemarle county republican committee says he is speaking for “marginalized communities” who weren’t comfortable speaking today. “we need significantly more public input” on the issue being voted on today.
he says people are “alarmed and dismayed” that our jail may “stop cooperating with federal authorities.”
“i understand this is an emotional issue,” “but public safety must be a paramount issue.” he says this is necessary for our community to “function effectively.”
the local right wing has obviously not been paying attention. this was last voted on in january. we’ve BEEN OUT HERE talking about this for a year.
“god loves each and every one of you but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a nation of laws,” says the next speaker. he says his best friend is from el salvador but complains loudly about “illegal immigrants” competing against him personally. he emphasizes he is “not a hater.”
“you represent me, you don’t represent illegal immigrants. I SAY THAT WITH LOVE,” he screams.
“i am not a laid professional activist. i am a representative of this community,” says the next woman. she cites a made up incident about MS-13 dismembering a body which was found by children. she calls immigrants “monsters.”
“there is something worse than being separated from your family by distance - it is being separated from your family by death.”
she says the families separated by the government can always just go home.
she says many of her friends didn’t come today because they were afraid of being called racists.
i’m glad i’m outside in the overflow area. this is outrageous.
“ICE may be the only organization that knows any background about this person who is in our country illegally” “it’s a safety issue” she is worried about the safety of her grandchildren “and all of the kids in albemarle county” (except the children of immigrants, i guess)
so many of these old white people are “scared” to speak out. 🙄
david caron, a volunteer on corey stewart’s campaign, is very concerned about the safety of the community. says the jail would be “complicit” if “anything happened.”
david caron is obviously an authority on the safety of this community

“only ICE can determine the past criminality of each illegal immigrant” but “you will be responsible for the future acts of violence” of “illegal aliens” released into our community.
(facts: they don’t exist here!)
“this is not about protecting illegal immigrants so they can slip through the cracks and find more ways to harm people,” she says.
the sound quality out here in the overflow area is TERRIBLE, by the way, and the TVs only show a portion of the board, no other part of the room.
“ICE is designed to protect all communities,” says a very misguided woman.
she is also very worried that she doesn’t see the american flag in that room (i hear someone whisper “it’s right there,” but i can’t see much of the room)
she is DEVASTATED the meeting didn’t begin with the pledge of allegiance.
next speaker says she is in favor of ICE being notified “when dangerous criminals are being released” but that isn’t the issue here — they aren’t “dangerous criminals.”
next speaker says “there doesn’t seem to be any recourse” for all the “violent crimes committed by illegals”
he closes by saying he is “proud to be an american.”
“not notifying ICE may not legally be obstruction of justice,” but that it is obstruction of justice. and that MS-13 is very active here. he is wrong on all counts.
“these are illegal aliens, that’s their first strike. they committed a second crime, that’s their second strike.” sweetie, most people here are in pretrial detention. many of them end up having charges dropped.
then she says “illegal aliens” are “raping infants.”
she says the county would be subject to “wrongful death suits or whatever”
*paid, rather.
his guy says he’s “sorry they come from hellhole countries,” “but we must protect americans, we must protect our borders.”
(he keeps saying “flaunted our laws” instead of “flouted”)
next speaker is a lawyer from @LegalAidJustice. she says she’s going to clear up some of the misconceptions we’ve heard today.
“congress has not legislated any affirmative duty” to notify ICE. “any attorney who suggests otherwise is either incompetent or they are lying.”
she reminds them they have a petition in front of them with over 2000 signatures.
next speaker is a marine corps veteran and child of immigrants, speaking as a volunteer for sin barreras. he is reading statements from people who did not feel safe coming to the jail today. it is an emotional statement from someone whose brother was detained under this policy.
diantha mckeel is whispering to the person next to her, but directly into her microphone so everyone outside can hear her disrespecting this speaker, as he reads a letter from someone whose family they destroyed.
they are now closing public comment “so the jail board can get to their business.”
the board chair notes that they DO have an american flag and agrees they should’ve said the pledge of allegiance 🙄🙄
now moving to the “voluntary ICE notification discussion.”
“i really think it’s important for the community to understand that there is no one on this board who doesn’t think that public safety is paramount.”
she says they’ve discovered new information “we didn’t realize” and the superintendent will be presenting some information that is available on their website.
VINE: victim information notification every day — it is available to everyone, designed for victims to get notifications about release/transfer of offenders. “you can sign up for as many people as you like” and can get automatic notifications.
wes asks if ICE has access to this VINE system, which they do.
the system updates every 15 minutes.
(so why are we going out of our way to give ICE courtesy calls? if they have a person of interest, let them sign up for the system that already exists?)
“if this solution was available this whole time, i respectfully ask” why it wasn’t offered before.
the man speaking (can’t tell who?) says the VINE system actually ISN’T easy to use or updated as often as is claimed.
we’re deep into discussions about how long various forms of paperwork take and how often computer systems update with new information.
release paperwork takes half an hour, out processing takes an hour, this is a very efficient picture of evil.
“we do know when an individual is released from the jail that they are no longer in the jail’s custody.”
well at least we all agree on that.
“we call when the calculation is made,” the superintendent says. they notify ICE of a release date whenever they know it, whether it’s next year or today at 3.
“we give as much notice as we possibly can,” and “they like at least 48 hours.”
“the majority of our releases are spontaneous rather than scheduled,” because 56% of their population is “pending” (he means pre-trial. they haven’t been convicted of anything. over half the population of this jail has NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME.)
so it’s really hard for them to give ICE a courtesy call so they can kidnap immigrants because they are not criminals serving sentences.
a member of the board reminds us of nelson’s commonwealth’s attorney’s proud & frequent cooperation with ICE, which he spoke about at the august meeting.
several members of the board seem supportive of the idea that ICE should just sign up for VINE notifications about people they are interested in.
cyndra, the albemarle county citizen representative to the board, says “we should just go to ICE and say ‘why do you want? how can we help?’”
she says it’s “our community’s safety. it’s our county’s laws. ICE, how can we help you?”
“how much more do we need to know to make a decision? because we have voted,” says another member.
the chair says they have had new information each time it’s been brought up since the january vote.
kathy, the charlottesville citizen rep to the board, takes a moment to thank the jail for doing such a great job and encourages the audience members to come back to more meetings.
wes says he thinks “we can find a compromise of sorts.”
the current policy is to notify ICE, he suggests four exceptions to the policy:
- public intox
- driving with a suspended license
- loitering
- civil matters re: child support
(please don’t shuffle papers near your mic when the meeting is being live-streamed to the majority of the audience)
wes explains why these four exceptions are important. undocumented folks driving without a license, just trying to get to work, aren’t a danger. charges of loitering target people of color. deporting a father for nonpayment of child support ultimately hurts the child much more.
wes says he’s spoken to the jail superintendent about these compromises and “he said it’s doable.”
clarification from another member that these exceptions are for first offenses only - “habitual offenders” will still be subject to the notification policy.
jail superintendent says this is “logistically feasible” for his staff. (VINE notifications would still go out, as this is policy for all offenses, but they wouldn’t pick up the phone and call ICE)
a member of the board brings up “two young women” who were murdered at UVA. (those women were killed by home grown murderers. yeardley love was killed by a white man, her boyfriend, a member of the UVA lacrosse team. hannah graham was killed by a local man.)
cville interim city manager mike murphy urges the board to focus on jail policy, “not their feelings about immigration”
“public safety is undermined when people are removed from their community,” says mike murphy.
“a lot of people want to talk about the relative danger of the person being released,” mike murphy says “it’s clear it isn’t about criminogenic risk or public safety,” it’s about how quick ICE can get here & whether or not they have an empty bed at a detention facility.
mike murphy: as someone with a lot of experience with assessment, it’s clear to him ICE doesn’t have a clear, consistent method of assessing these people.
mike murphy suggests a friendly amendment to wes’ list of exceptions - wes said “suspended” license, mike says a license isn’t suspended until after you were able to GET one in the first place, which undocumented people do not have.
another board member says “it’s great” that they are expanding the DNA database. (virginia recently added several misdemeanors to the list of crimes that trigger automatic DNA collection. it is NOT “great.”)
“the decisions that we make, they have consequences on people’s lives. grave consequences,” says wes, who continues to urge compromise. he says there won’t be a good blanket solution.
he says the process to get legal status is “flawed, it is broken.”
the board chair cuts him off saying, “wes, let’s try to keep it local.”
motion to continue current policy until such time that ICE agrees that the VINE notification is sufficient. motion seconded. discussion now.
another board member says this isn’t a good solution - it allows ICE to decide policy for them.
“once we have their input, the board can decide again,” says a board member (chip, i think?)
there’s a lot of crosstalk, some folks’ mics are too loud, some are barely audible. people are shuffling papers near their mics, drowning out some of what’s being said.
board chair says they’ll revisit this in november. “we need to have a report out in 60 days.”
mike murphy brings wes’ proposition back to the table. says there’s no reason for chip’s motion to keep working on the VINE system since that’s what they’re doing anyway.
“there is a downside to voting if we don’t have all the information,” says wes
board chair: they’re going to work on getting the VINE system “up and running” and “tested” by november.
the motion is withdrawn.
motion to adjourn until the november meeting. diantha thanks us all “for being so polite.”
polite? i heard more vicious, borderline genocidal, racism during today’s public comment than ever. what’s polite about that? because no one snapped their fingers?
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