A costly, useless crackdown in Prince William
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?
Don Whittaker, Woodbridge
| November 24, 2010; 8:08 PM ET
Categories: HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia, immigration
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