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Posted at 8:08 PM ET, 11/24/2010

A costly, useless crackdown in Prince William

By Don Whittaker, Woodbridge

Regarding the Nov. 21 Metro article “County asks localities across Virginia to follow it on immigration":

Here are some quotes from the University of Virginia’s report on Prince William County’s crackdown on illegal immigrants:

  • “A number of local and national studies have concluded that growth in the immigrant population does not increase crime and may in fact reduce it”;

  • “The policy has arguably diverted [Prince William County Police Department] resources from other crime-fighting efforts”;

  • “The recent downturn in [the county’s] economy, particularly in the housing sector, is believed to have driven many immigrants away”;

  • “There are no historical data on crimes committed by illegal immigrants in [the county]. How much crime in [the county] was committed by illegal immigrants prior to the immigration policy is unknown. [The police department] did not begin collecting data on arrests of illegal immigrants until [March 2008].”

Undocumented immigrants made up only about 6 percent of those arrested for serious crimes in the county in 2009. The report’s authors said there was no noticeable impact on crime from the immigration enforcement policy and that social service spending remained about the same. Implementing and maintaining the policy cost the county about $3 million.

Why, exactly, should other localities follow Prince William’s lead on this issue?

By Don Whittaker, Woodbridge  | November 24, 2010; 8:08 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia, immigration  
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Gee, Don why should other counties follow Prince Williams lead. How about in Arlington County where seven out of the ten people on the Arlington County Police Departments 10 most wanted list are Hispanic males. And oh by the way they are wanted for crimes such as rape, malicious wounding, animate object/sexual penetration of a minor and one is a member of MS-13. Is that good enough a reason. Or how about in 2008 from this story in the Washington Examiner:
3 suspects in Wheaton slaying are illegal aliens, official says

The three people accused of murdering and then burning the body of an 83-year-old Wheaton woman last week are illegal immigrants, a Montgomery County jail official said Wednesday.

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents issued warrants for Ramon Alvarado, Jose Alvarado and Ana Rodas on Wednesday afternoon, jail director Arthur Wallenstein said.

Wallenstein said that half of the 16 jail inmates accused of murder are illegal immigrants.

Cousins Jose and Ramon Alvarado were in jail in connection with the beating death of Lila Meizel. Police say the cousins lighted the woman’s body on fire to cover up a check fraud scheme. Rodas allegedly helped the two kill Meizel.

Both Alvarado cousins had prior criminal records in Montgomery County. Jose, 37, for check fraud and Ramon, 32, for driving a car without a license or registration, court records show. Rodas, 32, has no criminal history.

The recent spate of high-profile killings allegedly committed by illegal immigrants who had criminal histories has county officials re-examining the policy of not checking the immigration status of people the county detains, said Montgomery County executive spokesman Patrick Lacefield.

Let’s repeat that one critical line in this story:

Wallenstein said that half of the 16 jail inmates accused of murder are illegal immigrants.

Posted by: msmith440068 | November 26, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Excellent comment by msmith. How about "enforcing the law" for starters, Don?

In addition to what msmith mentioned, another high-profile death was that of a Catholic nun killed by an illegal immigrant driving drunk. The numbers of major crimes committed by illegals in PWC may be statistically insignificant (unless you happen to be one of the victims) but they are crimes that wouldn't have occured if the immigration laws were enforced.

As to the downside of enforcement, the study you cited is inconclusive, despite the authors' obvious attempts to find negatives. The crackdown only "arguably" diverted police resources; there is "no historical data" but the authors assume it had no impact.

The Post and others keep harping on the alleged $3 million cost but that's out of county budget that, over the last 3 years, totaled over $2.5 billion.

The Post grudgingly admits the policy currently is having little effect on relations between the police and (legal) immigrants; however, this is not necessarily because of a "repair job" but more likely because legal immigrants now realize the policy isn't aimed at them, despite the fear-mongering tactics of the liberal media and the illegal immigrant lobby. That rationale is akin to recommending that drug laws not be enforced because that might affect relations between the police and the "drug abuser community."

Posted by: FuriousGeorge | November 26, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The quote that they give to Bismark is tht while others can learn from their own mistakes, he preferred to learn from the mistakes of others.

Same thing here.

Thanks PW county. Now we know what not to do.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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