VERONA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The election for Sheriff of Augusta County has exposed serious moral, ethical and legal issues within the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office. Incumbent Donald Smith is currently under investigation and facing lawsuits for truly disgraceful behavior, including identity theft and association with a known human trafficker. As Sheriff Smith has come under more scrutiny, so has his opponent, Neil Kester.
Sometimes bad policies can be just as bad as bad people.
Neil Kester has made one of his primary issues a pledge to “stand with President Trump” and help locally enforce a program called 287G. In short, this program gives wide-sweeping powers to local law enforcement for the enforcement of federal immigration law. However, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement under the leadership of President Trump is an abusive and draconian organization, and its power have no business in the hands of deputies that seem to struggle with following local policies. Mr. Kester is proposing to use our Sheriff’s Office to enforce immigration law. We believe Mr. Kester would need to teach his department to properly enforce local and state laws before endeavoring to become immigration agents.
Do we all want a safe community? Of course. Should undocumented people who are criminals wreaking havoc in this country be deported? All people should be held accountable for their actions. In contrast, 287G accomplishes neither of these goals. It’s a race-baiting policy that puts abusive power in the hands of the very people who are sworn to protect ALL members of our community, not just those who were born in the United States.
Furthermore, beyond the morally repugnant nature of this inhumane proposal, we also doubt this Sheriff’s Office’s capacity to even implement it. Simply put, this is a totally incompetent department that was denied accreditation just this month for not being able to properly handle evidence. If they can’t be trusted to complete even the most mundane responsibilities locally, how can we as a community trust their ability to fairly activate a complex national policy that requires nuance and experience?
“Mr. Kester would have us believe that this department can handle responsibility over civil enforcement of immigration laws while protecting civil rights, when news from their accreditation report will likely be used to challenge hundreds of drug convictions,” Mike Donovan, Nexus Services, Inc. President and CEO said. “They lost the ring of a murder victim, and the cop who took it is still working. Why would we believe for a second that this is an office that needs more sensitive responsibilities when it can’t handle the simplest of daily police responsibilities, which is preserving evidence chain of custody? This department can’t handle this responsibility, and we will stand against this injustice.”
Rather than sit idly by as this candidate threatens to turn our deputies into I.C.E agents, Nexus Services Inc. will stand with those who need it most: I.C.E.’s victims. We are formally announcing our intention to file a lawsuit blocking any implementation of a 287G program in Augusta County. Nexus Services, Inc. will file this lawsuit if Kester prevails in the election next week and ask the court to consider the issue before the Kester administration takes power and can implement the program. As always, at Nexus Services, Inc., we will employ our full resources to ensure that this injustice meets its match.
Nexus Services, Inc. is a leading provider of immigrant bond securitization and of services provided to detained individuals. The organization funds Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. as a part of its corporate giving to increase access to justice for disadvantaged people across the United States. http://www.nexushelps.com/
Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys Inc. is a civil-rights law firm funded by Nexus Services Inc. Nexus Derechos Humanos is committed to holding public officials accountable for placing money or politics above the lives of human beings, protecting due-process rights to be free from government coercion and demanding justice and enforcement of hard-won civil rights. https://www.ndhlawyers.com
Nexus Services Inc.