McGuireWoods is serving as pro bono co-counsel with the American Civil
Liberties Union of Virginia in a lawsuit that seeks to terminate an
arrangement in which Culpeper County sheriff’s deputies perform duties of
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins signed an agreement on April 24,
2018, with ICE under Section 287(g) of the Federal Immigration and
Nationality Act that purportedly allows deputies to enforce federal civil
immigration law by performing functions such as questioning individuals
booked in the county jail about their immigration status and detaining them
until ICE takes them into custody. The sheriff’s office must cover
personnel expenses associated with the agreement, as well as costs for
training, equipment, technology and administrative supplies.
Under the Virginia Constitution, localities may only take actions
specifically authorized by the constitution or the General Assembly.
Neither authorizes Culpeper County to enforce federal immigration law or to
spend local tax revenues for that purpose, the lawsuit states.
McGuireWoods and the Virginia ACLU filed the lawsuit Nov. 28 in Culpeper
County Circuit Court on behalf of county taxpayers Michael McClary and
Christina Stockton. The defendants are Jenkins, who executed the agreement
with ICE, and the county board of supervisors, which allocates funds to the
sheriff’s office. The plaintiffs asked the court to order the sheriff to
terminate the agreement immediately and stop using local tax money for
“We are partnering with the ACLU of Virginia because an important legal
principle is at stake,” said McGuireWoods’
Casey Lucier. “Under Culpeper County’s agreement with ICE, sheriff’s deputies assume
immigration enforcement duties that are not authorized by Virginia law,
putting a strain on local public safety resources. We filed this lawsuit to
protect the interests of county taxpayers.”
The McGuireWoods team also includes partners Dion Hayes and
Dale Mullen and associates
Patrick McNichol and
Maggie Bowman, all based in the firm’s Richmond, Virginia, office.
As part of McGuireWoods’ commitment to client and community service, the
firm’s lawyers are involved in significant pro bono work, including
immigration matters, death penalty cases, child support enforcement
prosecutions, housing law cases, domestic violence representations, human
trafficking litigation, wills and powers of attorney, court-appointed
criminal defense and general counseling for nonprofit organizations.
McGuireWoods earned a “Highly Commended” rating in Financial Times
North America Innovative Lawyers Report for its role in a first-of-its-kind pro bono initiative that made Richmond
the first U.S. city to outsource legal aid matters in 12 practice areas,
enabling legal aid organizations to focus scarce resources on other