Fairfax County Board Chair Says Illegals Defense Fund Necessary "Due to Dynamic State of Federal Immigration Policy"

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Fairfax County Board Chair Says Illegals Defense Fund Necessary "Due to Dynamic State of Federal Immigration Policy"

SUVGOP Media Contact:
Michael Ginsberg
Phone: 703-850-5017

Media Alert

Fairfax County Board Chair Calls for Taxpayer Financed Defense Fund for Illegals “Due to Dynamic State of Federal Immigration Policy” 

(Fairfax County, VA) — In response to the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition’s inquiries regarding the Fairfax County proposed taxpayer-funded legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants, the Board of Supervisors Chair, Democrat Sharon Bulova, replied today the program was “due to the dynamic state of federal immigration policy”.  Mike Ginsberg, a member of the SUVGOP Steering Committee relayed this is an unacceptable rationale for the use of county taxpayer funds and sets a dangerous precedent for use of county taxes.

            “By establishing a fund to support individuals that have entered the United States illegally in civil deportation hearings, the Democrat-controlled Board in Fairfax County is establishing a precedent for county taxpayers to cover legal expenses in response to additional civil cases,” commented Ginsberg.  “As a taxpayer, I cannot understand why the county is choosing to prioritize the legal expenses of some residents of Fairfax County over others.  Chairwoman Bulova’s explanation, that the recipients of this assistance are contributing members of our community, is insufficient.  There are many contributing members of our community who do not stand to receive taxpayer-funded legal defense in civil cases.  What is the limiting principle?  Why are some residents receiving this legal defense but not others?”
            “Suburban taxpayers who have been hit with ever-increasing property taxes and whose schools still rely upon trailers to accommodate the full student population should not now have this legal defense fund piled onto their backs also,” Ginsberg continued.  “If the County Board sets this precedent, there is nothing stopping it from funding other residents’ civil defenses, with unaffordable consequences for the suburban families whose taxes fund schools and county government.”

At a recent Fairfax County budget markup, Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield) made a motion to amend the FY2019 Third Quarter Review and remove the funds allocated for the program.  The Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors rejected the motion on a 7 to 3 vote.

As Supervisor Herrity stated, “Unfortunately, the Board let special interest groups dictate their decision.  This vote not only breaks [the Board of Supervisors] procedural norms, but also raise questions about the Board’s priorities considering we [Fairfax County taxpayers] don’t provide legal services for civil cases to our low-income, tax paying legal residents, especially veterans facing civil eviction hearings.”

Chairwoman Bulova stated in her response that she was aware that the County was not legally bound to provide such services.  She wrote “Legal representation for people in civil proceedings is not a right, but in this instance, I believe that the pilot program [for undocumented immigrants] deserves a chance to be evaluated.”

The Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition ( is asking for voters across Fairfax County to contact their local Supervisor and ask the Board to remove this budget funding or alternatively, put the funding approval for the legal defense fund on the ballot for a countywide referendum.

Email from Chairman Bulova is below.
From: Chairman <>
Date: Mon, May 6, 2019 at 3:49 PM
Subject: RE: Separate Vote Requested on $200,000 for Illegal Defense Fund
Thank you for your message regarding the proposed budget consideration item funding legal representation for individuals facing deportation proceedings. The funds, if approved, would provide legal rights education, training, and legal representation for individuals subject to these types of civil proceedings. This money would be used by an existing non-profit organization to develop a pilot program, not given directly to individuals in need of legal aid. At the end of the pilot program, this project would be competing among other county priorities through the Consolidated Community Funding Pool (CCFP) program. The program was suggested due to the dynamic state of federal immigration policy. 
The men and women who will benefit from the services offered by the pilot program are contributing members of our community. The funding is meant to ensure that people have a chance to defend themselves, to make their case, for being in this county legally through the established legal processes. County staff is working on specific parameters for the pilot program and these parameters would then be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Deportations can harm our community and separate families with devastating consequences.
Legal representation for people in civil proceedings is not a right, but in this instance, I believe that the pilot program deserves a chance to be evaluated. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Sharon Bulova

The mission of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition ( is to support Republican candidates and causes rooted in the fundamental, kitchen-table concerns that matter most to voters in Virginia’s suburban communities – family, vocation, community, and faith. 

We believe that the Republican Party’s longstanding championship of limited government makes it best suited to lead in the Commonwealth by ensuring that government at all levels — city, county, state, and national — remains focused on its core functions and performs these activities effectively and in a fiscally responsible manner.

We seek to engage suburban voters across Virginia to promote Republican solutions to their concerns. We share these concerns — from taxes, to transportation, to education, to keeping our neighborhoods and schools safe, to rising health care costs, to cultivating a positive civic culture. We want our neighbors to know that the Republican Party cares about the issues most important to them and has thoughtful and innovative approaches to these issues. 

We support policies and leadership at all levels of government that reflect America’s great history, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to freedom.

We, the members of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition, are Republicans of all ages and backgrounds, united by a commitment to collaboration and dedicated to ensuring that our communities are the best places possible for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. Join us today!

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Your Taxes to Lawyers for Illegals, by 7-3 Vote

By Cathy Ruse 

On Tuesday the Fairfax Board of Supervisors voted 7-3 to give $200,000 of our taxes to lawyers for illegal aliens so they can fight deportation. 

Apparently this "pilot" program will pay legal fees to fight deportation for 2 dozen illegal aliens.

If this program "shows results" they will give away lots more tax dollars next year. 

This is an election year. 

Five of the ten seats on the Board of Supervisors will change hands, the biggest change in forever. 

Chairman Bulova is leaving, so is Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who's been there for  20 years. Several Democrat candidates are vying for these seats in a June 11 Democratic Primary.

As of end of April, NO Republicans had filed for either post.  


Read about how the slush fund debate went from WTOP's report: 

...there was sharp debate Tuesday morning over plans to designate $200,000 of newly available funds to help Fairfax County residents fight deportation.

Herrity argued the funding was outside normal processes, did not address other unmet legal needs and was outside the typical budget process even though the same quarterly adjustments included other funding through a similar process for the county symphony.

Supervisor Linda Smyth raised concerns about a lack of details over how the funding for legal support would be spent by to-be-determined charities, and Supervisor John Cook argued the county was veering too far out of its lane by trying to fix something the federal government has messed up.

The other seven supervisors spoke strongly in favor of the funding though.

“Families are being divided almost daily in Fairfax County, and it’s affecting our county. It’s affecting our kids and our schools,” Supervisor Jeff McKay said.

The money is meant to ensure people have representation in proceedings determining whether they should be deported, allowed to remain, or have some other legal status.

“Our immigrant community is under siege, at a national level. These are people who live in Fairfax County, many who have every legal right to be here,” McKay said.

The funds are only enough to help about two dozen people, but if the program shows results, additional funding could be provided next year.  

On Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 4:51 PM Cathy Ruse wrote:

Dear Friend in Fairfax, 

The Board of  Supervisors will vote tomorrow on the infamous "pilot program" -- a tax fund for lawyers to fight deportation of illegal aliens in Fairfax County.
See my letter below, and please send your own to the Board today:



Dear Chairman Bulova and the Board of Supervisors, 

VOTE NO on the "Pilot Program" for tax-funded legal defense against deportations!
Taxpayer dollars are not used for our own citizens' civil hearings  -- how offensive that you would use them for the civil hearings of people here illegally!

It sure is easy to fund pet projects with other people's money. 

The fact that the $200,000 would "go to a non-profit organization" and not directly to illegal aliens is of utterly no consequence. 

Your other defenses, Chairman Bulova, are all non-starters...
  • "The program was suggested due to the dynamic state of federal immigration policy."  In other words, you're playing politics with our money. If you want to play politics, fund it yourself, or find private donors. 
  • "The men and women who will benefit...are contributing members of our community."  So being a contributing member means you get other people's money--since when? 
  • "Deportations can harm our community"  Well, deportations are following the written law. Don't tax us and then use our money to fight the law. 

Do not give Fairfax County tax dollars to lawyers fighting deportations.

Cathy Ruse


Fairfax to use taxpayer funds to defend illegal immigrants from deportation
written by Jeanine Martin 

Fairfax County is proposing $200,000 of taxpayer’s money to be used in a pilot program to defend both legal and illegal immigrants in deportation hearings.

The population of Fairfax is 1.1 million with an estimated one-third being immigrants.  Last year 12,000 immigrants in Fairfax were involved in deportation hearings.

From the Washington Post, 

In the Washington region, Prince George’s County has allocated about $200,000 a year to helping undocumented immigrants with legal costs related to deportation proceedings, while much smaller Arlington County has dedicated $100,000 toward services that include fighting deportation.

The District’s budget includes $900,000 for immigrant legal assistance that — to avoid a clash with Congress — is not related to deportation proceedings. The city of Baltimore has a $200,000 legal defense fund for deportation.

Do I have this right?  People come to this country illegally, they have done something that puts them in front of a judge, and taxpayers are being asked to help fight their deportation?  Why?  Why would we be fighting to block their deportation and, worse, why are we paying for it?! Isn’t that adding insult to injury?

More on the story from a very liberal view (it’s the Post after all) here.

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Congrats, VA Residents: Some Of Your Tax Dollars Are Going To An illegal Alien Legal Defense Fund

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

There’s Northern Virginia and then the rest of the state. That’s how some folks describe it—and they’re right. Leave the northern liberal enclaves and you’ll find normal Americans. You’ll find Republicans. You’ll be in Trump country. And like liberals elsewhere, the supervisors in Fairfax County, who dominate the board, are putting on their Trump resistance hats by creating a legal defense fund for illegal aliens who want to fight their deportations from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s going to start as a $200,000 pilot program (via WaPo):

Fairfax County is considering creating a taxpayer-funded legal defense fund for immigrants caught in deportation proceedings, part of a growing effort by local governments to counter the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

At a county Board of Supervisors budget hearing Wednesday, advocates argued that a proposed $200,000 pilot program aimed at assisting low-income immigrants — both undocumented and those in the country legally — would send a strong message that Virginia’s most populous jurisdiction doesn’t agree with the spike in immigration arrests that has spread fear in local communities.

“Fairfax has an opportunity to be a regional leader in ensuring that its immigrant residents have access to due process in our nation’s immigration courts,” Jose Magaña-Salgado, an immigration consultant with the Masa Group, told the supervisors.

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Oh, and they’re not the only ones:

Prince George’s County has allocated about $200,000 a year to helping undocumented immigrants with legal costs related to deportation proceedings, while much smaller Arlington County has dedicated $100,000 toward services that include fighting deportation.

The District’s budget includes $900,000 for immigrant legal assistance that — to avoid a clash with Congress — is not related to deportation proceedings. The city of Baltimore has a $200,000 legal defense fund for deportation cases.

This money could be spent elsewhere, especially infrastructure. The roads in Fairfax certainly need maintenance. It could also be spent on law enforcement as well. It’s just absurd. No taxpayer money should be ever allocated to helping those who have broken federal immigration laws remain in this country. If they get caught, they get caught—and then deported. It’s yet another example of how far left the Democrats have gone on immigration.

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Fairfax County considers legal defense fund to help immigrants

The proposal is facing backlash from local Republicans.
Author: Ines de La Cuetara

FAIRFAX, Va. — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is looking into creating a $200,000 fund to help immigrants facing deportation proceedings pay for legal representation. It would benefit both legal and undocumented immigrants.  

Current law does not mandate that all low-income individuals be entitled to a public defender during immigration proceedings. 

The Fairfax County GOP blasted a proposed legal aid for fund to help immigrants.
Fairfax GOP

"We're spending money on people who have violated the law, and it just doesn’t make sense,"  said Tim Hannigan, Chairman of the Fairfax Republican Committee. 

The program would be tax-payer funded.

"Every dollar that's spent on that kind of support is money that's not put into roads, parks, law enforcement," Hannigan said. 

Activists argue everyone should have a right to due process. 

"Everyone should have the same rights," CASA spokeswoman Lizette Olmos said.

Let all ginseng lovers get the real ginseng from Wisconsin

Olmos cited a University of San Diego study that recently found 60 percent of Fairfax voters support universal representation. 

According to CASA, which helped launch the proposal, Fairfax would be the first jurisdiction in Virginia to implement such a program. 

Both sides say the fund will inevitably become a campaign issue in the upcoming elections this fall. 

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the proposal on May 7. 



Legal Fund For Undocumented Immigrants Proposed In Fairfax Co.

The $200,000 pilot program would help both legal and undocumented immigrants facing deportation cases.
By Emily Leayman, Patch Staff

A legal fund for immigrants facing deportation was proposed to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. ( Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

FAIRFAX, VA—The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a pilot program creating a legal fund for immigrants facing deportation cases.
Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) and Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee) proposed the $200,000 fund, according to the Washington Post. The program would benefit both legal and undocumented immigrants.

Federal law does not provide public defenders for civil immigration cases, unlike in criminal cases. Data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University data shows there are over 12,000 pending immigration cases in Fairfax County. That's the most in the state, followed by Prince William County, Loudoun County and the City of Alexandria.

Immigration advocates say Fairfax County's program would help lawful permanent residents, DACA recipients, and TPS holders facing deportation and who cannot afford lawyers. Advocates provided testimony in support of the proposal at a Wednesday Board of Supervisors hearing.

"Mass deportations and the separation of immigrants from their families spreads fear and makes immigrants less likely to report crimes or act as witnesses. Our community is safest when all our neighbors trust and know they will be treated justly and with dignity," said Luis Aguilar, director of CASA Virginia, one of the groups pushing for the fund.

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) spoke out against the proposal, citing other funding needs in the county.

Fairfax County doesn't provide legal services for civil cases to our low-income, tax paying legal residents, why would we elect to provide these services to non-residents, especially when we have so many other critical financial needs in the County? 

Virginia’s largest county could be next to help undocumented immigrants fight deportation

Fairfax County legal aid proposal is part of a growing local government effort to battle Trump administration deportations.

According to the Post, Prince George's County, Md. has an annual $200,000 legal fund for immigrants, while Arlington County's $100,000 fund is not solely for deportation cases.

A vote on the proposal could potentially happen by the end of April.

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