Pushback from political leaders after ICE immigration arrests outside church in Va.

Political and community leaders from Northern Virginia came together Thursday afternoon to condemn the Trump administration’s actions on immigration, as well as an ICE enforcement action last month in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.

Democratic Representative Don Beyer spoke out today: “The new policies of the Trump administration exist to incite fear. They exist to spread terror and misunderstanding and insecurity throughout the immigrant neighborhoods, to make them feel unwelcome, to make them flee.”

On February 8 at the Rising Hope Mission Church, witnesses say agents apprehended seven to eight Hispanic men outside the church, questioned them about their immigration status and ultimately took them away.

ICE claims agents at the church targeted and apprehended two men, both undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

And while ICE claims agents nationwide are only searching for undocumented people who have committed crimes, these Democratic leaders say the Trump administration has expanded the definition of a criminal, including someone who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to California Democratic Representative Linda Sanchez: “We cannot continue to see families ripped apart and think that it somehow makes this country greater because it doesn’t.”

In addition to criticizing President Trump’s actions on immigration, each political and community leader that spoke called on the President to support comprehensive immigration reform.

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