AG Racine Demands Answers from ICE on Immigration Crackdowns in DC

OAG Seeks List of Persons Detained, Reasons for Detentions, Explanation of Enforcement Policies

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Ronald D. Vitiello demanding answers about local reports of a dozen District residents in predominantly Latino communities being taken into ICE custody. OAG’s letter asks ICE to identify the individuals who were detained, give reasons for the detentions, and explain the agency’s immigration enforcement policies. OAG is taking action to stand up for District residents against potential indiscriminate ICE enforcement activity resulting from racial or ethnic profiling.

A copy of AG Racine’s letter to ICE is at:

“Last week’s incidents are precisely the kind that spark fear in our city, undermine public safety by discouraging victims of and witnesses to crimes from coming forward and, more broadly, undermine the ability of our immigrant communities to participate fully in the civic life of the District,” wrote Attorney General Karl Racine.

AG Racine also emphasized in his letter that “Transparency about the policies and procedures ICE follows when engaging in enforcement activity is central to the ability of our immigrant communities to feel secure here.” The letter asks for information about ICE’s enforcement policies, such as racial and ethnic profiling and the level of suspicion required to apprehend or detain an individual.

OAG this week issued tips for residents on social media in English and Spanish to help them know their rights if they are confronted by ICE agents. OAG also issued guidance for local business and workers related to immigration enforcement in the workplace (English and Spanish), and guidance for school staff and parents related to immigration enforcement in District schools (English and Spanish). 

In 2018, AG Racine joined with other attorneys general to take action against the Trump administration to protect public safety funding for “sanctuary” cities; stop a cruel family separation policy; keep longtime District residents from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras from losing their protected status; fight for hard-working “dreamers” to stay in the United States; and to oppose the “Muslim travel ban.”