W.Va. county sees decline in DUI arrests among undocumented work - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

W.Va. county sees decline in DUI arrests among undocumented workers following Trump order

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) President Donald Trump's immigration policies have ignited a national firestorm since taking office in January. Stories of immigrants stranded at airports have dominated the headlines. And a handful of federal judges were quick to overturn the President's decision to exclude certain groups from entering the U.S. 

But one of the President's more controversial moves to end the Obama's Administration's 'Catch and Release' policy, exempting certain undocumented workers from deportation, has had a surprise impact one West Virginia community, where a Raleigh County magistrate has noticed a certain emptiness in his courtroom.

"We would on average see 2, 3, 4, 5, or more non-residents a month, specifically for DUI arrest. But in the last couple months, I haven't seen any," said Magistrate Steve Massie. 

Their absence comes following reports by two local Mexican restaurants that their employees were detained by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). 

"We never saw a whole lot of undocumented people coming through," said Raleigh County Assistant Prosecutor Brandon Steele, " but when it does happen, we always inform the federal government or the U.S. Attorney's office so they can take action." 

While he cannot directly link the policy to the undocumented workers that used to be regulars in his courtroom, Massie said there are a handful less people driving the streets impaired. 

"I hope it's just people not committing crimes. However, you have to think, in terms of recent events, it may play a part." 

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