immigration glossary



287g – A particular government agreement that deputizes local law enforcement
officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

CBP – Customs and Border Patrol

DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; temporary authorization to live and
work in the United States for certain individuals who arrived as children.

Deportation – Forced removal from the United States

Detainer – A request from one law enforcement agency to another to hold an individual
in custody until a transfer can be arranged.

Detention – Usually owned and operated by for-profit prison companies, immigrant
detention centers hold individuals indefinitely while their cases are processed through
the immigration court system. Farmville is Virginia’s largest immigrant detention center,
owned and operated by ICA.

DHS – Department of Homeland Security; the branch of the federal government that
includes ICE and CBP.

DOJ – Department of Justice; the branch of the federal government that sets criminal
justice policy.

Dreamer – Undefined; generally understood to be an undocumented person who
arrived in the United States as a child. *Not all “Dreamers” are eligible for DACA.

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act

Green Card – Form of identification showing authorization to live and work in the
United States.

I-247D – ICE Detainer, Hold Request Form

I-247N – ICE Detainer, Notification Request Form

ICA – Immigration Centers of America; the for-profit prison company that owns and
operates the Farmville Immigrant Detention Center. Investors are Ken Newsome,
Warren Coleman, and Russell Harper, all Richmond-based.

ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the agency that enforces federal
immigration laws and is responsible for mass deportations.

IGSA – Inter-Governmental Service Agreement; a formal agreement of cooperation
between government agencies.

Immigrant – A person living in a different country from where they were born.

Immigration Status – Federal designation that includes many categories in addition to
‘documented’ and ‘undocumented’.

Judicial Warrant – A constitutional warrant signed by a judge seeking a particular

KYR – Know Your Rights

LPR – Legal Permanent Resident (a particular immigration status)

MOA/MOU – Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding; formal contract between two

Naturalized Citizen – A citizen who emigrated to the United States and has gone
through the naturalization process to attain the full rights and benefits of citizenship.

POA – Power of Attorney

Removal proceedings – The formal legal process to deport an individual

Sanctuary City – Undefined; Sanctuary Cities are generally understood to refrain from
proactively collaborating with ICE by adopting policies that limit the scope of law

Sanctuary Congregation – Undefined; Sanctuary Congregations are generally
understood to be congregations willing to host an individual facing deportation while
they fight their case.

Undocumented Immigrant – A person who lives in the United States without federal
authorization. People become undocumented in many different ways, most commonly
through inability to renew a temporary visa.

Visa (Immigrant) – Authorization to live and/or work in the United States with certain
conditions. There are many types of immigrant visas, most of which are temporary.

VPRJ – Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail; this facility leases beds to ICE.

Language Justice:
Some terms you won’t find in our glossary or toolkit include the “a-word”, the “i-word”,
and the “c-word”: alien, illegal, and criminal. These terms have been weaponized for
the dehumanization of people who are immigrants. If you are seeking an alternative,
consider what it is that you want to convey. A person residing in the United States
without current authorization is “undocumented” or “unauthorized”. Someone who has
been convicted of a crime is “a person with a criminal record”. Those who were born
outside of our modern borders are “people who have migrated” or “people who are
immigrants”. Please note the “people-first” language. Our common values remind us to
elevate human dignity and amplify the voices of those who are oppressed. Using care
in our choice of language is one way we work toward these values.