FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - A local Virginia jurisdiction could be putting itself on the front lines in the battle over the Trump administration's immigration policy.
Fairfax County is considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to help illegal immigrants fight deportation.
The Board of Supervisors is considering a pilot program to create a $200,000 taxpayer-funded legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation.
At a budget hearing on Wednesday, the board heard testimony about the proposed program.
Supervisor John Foust first floated the idea, saying if the head of a household that's already here is deported, county residents wind up supporting that family.
Opponents say the county has no business using tax dollars to support people who've broken the law by entering the U.S. illegally.
"You know we don't give that assistance to our resident low income taxpaying residents, kind of why would we pay for deportation hearings?" said Supervisor Pat Herrity.
"If you want, just look at it in dollars and cents. It's important to keep families together and not have them become dependent on the state," said Supervisor John Foust.
Critics point out that the county is facing a $75 million hole in next year's 2021 budget, and it can't afford to spend $200,000 on helping illegal immigrants fight deportation.
There will be another budget hearing on Thursday night, and a final vote could come by the end of the month.