January 28, 2019

Contact: Lizette Olmos, CASA; (240) 706-2624 mobile


Led by Supervisors McKay and Foust, Board Sets the Stage to Potentially Fund Program in April

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA–CASA commends the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (Board) for voting to move forward on potentially funding a $200k pilot program for universal representation in Fairfax County. Led by Supervisors Jeff McKay and John Foust, the Board voted on Tuesday to consider funding a universal representation pilot program during the Board’s April 30th FY 2020 budget meeting. Tuesday’s vote represents a key victory in the campaign to expand universal representation in Fairfax County, an effort led by CASA, Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition, and other Virginia-based partners.

The pilot program would fund qualified non-profits to provide direct representation to Fairfax County residents who are immigrants, in deportation proceedings, and who cannot otherwise afford counsel—including long-time lawful permanent residents, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, and Temporary Protected Status holders. Dozens of jurisdictions across the country have implemented universal representation programs, and a successful vote in April would make Fairfax County the first jurisdiction in Virginia with such a program. The $200k pilot program provide full legal representation to nearly two dozen detained Fairfax residents at risk of detention; and provide legal rights and education to the public in all ten country districts.

Gustavo Torres of CASA, stated: “The immigrant and Latino communities in Fairfax County have been under unprecedented attack from an administration that is doggedly attempting to arrest, detain, and deport every immigrant it can find—regardless of their longstanding ties to the community or U.S. citizen family. The vote earlier this week by the Fairfax Board of Supervisors represents a bold repudiation of the administration’s wrongheaded policies and a first step to enshrining Fairfax County as a regional leader in protecting its immigrant residents. CASA especially appreciates and recognizes Supervisors McKay and Foust exceptional leadership in laying the foundation for what will hopefully be the eventual adoption of this program. CASA strongly urges the entire Board to vote in support of funding the pilot program at its April meeting.”

Previously, a dozen Fairfax County and Virginia immigrant, labor, faith, civil rights, and legal organizations urged the Board to support legal representation for detained residents. A previous fiscal analysis of such pilot program concluded that over a single year, a pilot program would generate upwards of $1 million in GDP for Fairfax County; and save Fairfax employers $96k in turnover costs. The continuation of the program over ten years would generate $11 million in GDP; and save employers $963k in costs.

Read the approved joint board matter here.


 CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. We are a national leader in building power and improving the quality of life in low-income and immigrant communities. Our vision is for a future in which diverse and thriving communities live free from discrimination and fear, and work together with mutual respect to achieve full human rights for all. Over its 30-year history CASA has established itself as a strong national leader in innovations for Latino and immigrant-focused services, and backbone organization for collective impact involving community-based, government and private partners.