Organizations Throughout Area Sign on to Joint Statement Demanding Accountability From Delegate Lopez Regardng His Ties to Immigration Detention Center

Twenty five organizations from the local area and throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. signed onto a statement denouncing Delegate Alfonso Lopez (49 -- Arlington) for his ties to Immigration Centers of America (ICA) and his refusal to cut these ties.

ICE Out of RVA, one of the signatories to the statement said: “We signed on to the joint statement because we understand the importance of holding politicians accountable. No matter what party you’re affiliated with or how much you call yourself a champion, if you’re working for the detention of ANY immigrant you are a threat to all of our well-being.”

This morning the Trump Administration announced it has ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, now putting thousands of people at risk of immediate detention and deportation. This is the latest addition to the already millions at heightened risk of deportation from last year’s announcements that TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans and the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program ending. While TPS and DACA did allow individuals to remain in the U.S. with work authorization, they were still at risk of being placed in immigration detention at any point. Now, even the slim protection they did have before has now been completely lifted.

Delegate Lopez worked for and continues to have ties to ICA, the operator of the largest immigration detention center in Virginia, ICA Farmville. He attempts to justify his work by hiding behind the fact that was done during the Obama Administration. However, during this time the company he worked for profited from the detention of thousands of migrants from Arlington, from Virginia, and throughout the country.

Along with people from the community and local organizations, La ColectiVA will continue to demand that Delegate Lopez absolutely end these ties, apologize for having made money off the suffering of migrants, and repay the money he made in the form a bond fund for people currently stuck in immigration detention.

Last year La ColectiVA started canvassing in Lopez’s district in Arlington to collect signatures with these demands. Hundreds have signed on wanting to hold Lopez accountable for his actions.

Jessie Patton, of SURJ Northern Virginia, who canvassed in Arlington, said: “People were genuinely surprised and angry to learn that their delegate has been working for ICA. Once the initial surprise settled, they began to demand further explanation.”

Neighborhood Canvass in Arlington Calling on Delegate Lopez To Be Held Accountable

La ColectiVA and SURJ Northern Virginia along with community members will go door-to-door to  canvass the 49th House of Delegates district to further inform its constituents of its representative’s ties to Immigration Centers of America (ICA) - Farmville. Canvassing started at the end of last year and this group continues to meet Arlingtonians, particularly in the Latinx community,  shocked and betrayed by the actions of Delegate Lopez.

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Candidate for Governor of Virginia Confronted On-Stage for Anti-immigrant Rhetoric

With 8 days left until the gubernatorial election in Virginia, activists confronted Ed Gillespie about his anti-immigrant rhetoric at an election rally on Monday. As Gillespie wrapped up his remarks, Irma Corado, a member of La ColectiVA, stepped on stage and shouted, “Ed Gillespie’s racist rhetoric is all lies, not one more deportation!” while holding a sign that read, “Not1More/Ni1Mas”.

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