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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 07/29/2010

What does the Arizona decision mean for Stewart?

By Peter Galuszka

UPDATED, 2:05 p.m.--

The blocking of parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law by a federal judge has advocates of the strong-arm approach regrouping and reloading.

In Virginia, first and foremost is Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors, who played a key role in enacting similar legislation in his mostly white, bedroom suburb of Washington three years ago. The Republican wants to have the rest of the Old Dominion enjoy Prince William's and Arizona's experience.

"I think the Obama administration has made a strategic blunder," he has said. By filing suit against Arizona's law, the administration "is just trying to intimidate Arizona."

"Intimidate"? Now that's a curious choice of words.

If you want to see examples of intimidation, check out the Web site for Virginia's Rule of Law Campaign, which Stewart launched in June. On it, a smiling Stewart (family photo on right rail) brags that thanks to his law, "illegal aliens fled the county, and the violent crime rate has plummeted." (The former may be true, but the latter is seriously in doubt as statistics have shown little connection between the law and violent crime.)

Stewart's Web site advocates for Virginia exactly the same measures that U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton struck down in Arizona. She blocked parts of that state's law that would make it a crime for immigrants not to carry their registration papers with them 24/7, make it illegal to seek employment in public areas, authorize police to make warrantless arrests of people they assume to be illegal aliens, and require police to check a person's immigration status wherever possible.

Granted, as a state bordering Mexico, Arizona has a lot more immigrant traffic than does Prince WIlliam. The Copper State, which didn't join the union until 1912, has for centuries been a spillover region linking Latin America, Native America and European America. It really didn't become Anglo-ized until white retirees started showing up in the 1960s, and only after that did immigration suddenly become a big problem.

As a rather sleepy and affluent suburb, Prince William has not been awash with immigrants in the same way. It is not the hotbed of serious crime that one sees in the District or in Virginia metropolitan areas such as Richmond or Portsmouth. The vast majority of immigrants, documented or otherwise, seem to be hard-working, law-abiding Latinos filling low-end jobs that whites don't want.

As hate-filled and xenophobic as Stewart's views are, he still has support in Virginia. Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli filed papers in Arizona supporting that state's law.

How this will play out in autumn congressional elections and the ones for Virginia General Assembly in 2011 depend on how higher courts handle Judge Bolton's decision. It could very well be that the courts will strike down all of the Arizona law, not just parts of it. If so, Prince William's immigration law would be in jeopardy. And Stewart will look like a fool.

Meanwhile, Stewart has quickly penned additions to draft laws that are aimed at sidestepping the pitfalls in the Arizona judicial decision. They also add new punitive measures. Virginia would not make it illegal for immigrants to fail to carry their documents with them, according to Stewart, it would be against the law fort them to register a car in Virginia or buy property. Plus, illegals would have to pay a special fee to wire money out of the U.S.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon's Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Peter Galuszka  | July 29, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Prince William County, Va. Politics, Virginia, crime, development, economy, housing, police, race, schools  
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Comments

Cucinelli is not just a kook, he's a bad lawyer. On every single high-profile issue, he has placed the Commonwealth on the losing side.

Posted by: krickey7 | July 29, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Stewart already looks like a fool not, "will look like a fool". Virginia and its fools are in the news quite a bit lately.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | July 30, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

"The vast majority of immigrants, documented or otherwise, seem to be hard-working, law-abiding Latinos filling low-end jobs that whites don't want."

first, illegal aliens are NOT 'immigrants'. They may be 'migrants' bit they certainly are *not* immigrants.

Second, no 'undocumented' migrants (hispanic or otherwise) can honestly be called 'law-abiding'. Especially if they *are* "filling low end jobs"...because illegal residency is just that - illegal. As is 'illegal labor'. And employment fraud. And tax evasion. And...well, all the other ancillary crimes associated with working and living in the United States without permission.

And third...I find it very insulting that Galuszka assumes that 'whites' don't want to build houses, pour concrete, make beds, wash dishes, pick fruit, dig irrigation ditches, or any of the other myriad of low-end, low-skill jobs that my (lily white) family *have* done.

These are the kind of jobs that my 8th-grade-educated father raised six kids on (I helped him get his GED when he turned 52). Work that allowed me to pay for college. And allowed my siblings to pay for college. Jobs in which we learned the ethic of hard work, of taking pride in even the most insignificant task simply because we did it well.

He acts as if American whites, blacks, and asians were just kickin' back relaxing while the poor hispanic did all the work! It's not just insulting to whites...it's gotta be insulting to ANYone who has ever worked a minimum wage job.

In my opinion it's just shameful that *anyone* would bring up race in regard to willingness to work in the first place. But then again...it's not surprising coming from a pro-crime open-borders schmuk like this. He and his friends all seem to be preoccupied with 'race' instead of with doing what's right.

No, now that I look at it...it's not at all surprising that he'd spit on honest Americans and law-abiding immigrants. People like him often lash out at those to whom they feel inferior.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | July 30, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

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