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Posted at 4:15 PM ET, 12/15/2010

The new immigration battleground

By Peter Galuszka

Ever wonder why white opposition to darker-skinned immigrants seems to be centered in outer suburbs such as Prince William and Stafford counties? An analysis of new Census data provides the answer.

The reason, the American Community Survey reports, is that immigrants from Latin America and other places are flocking to small towns and outer suburbs rather than concentrating in the center of large cities, as had been the case for immigrants for the last two centuries.

According to a New York Times report, Los Angeles County, a traditional Hispanic draw, showed little immigrant growth while immigration exploded in suburban Newton County outside of Atlanta. Closer to home, Stafford County saw its immigrant population triple during the past decade. Other Virginia hot spots are Prince William and Loudoun counties.

The Times notes that many Hispanics are drawn to outer suburbs by lower living costs, as well as by once-plentiful construction jobs that went bust with the recession.

This helps to explain why Stafford County is proposing to get tough on illegal immigrants, and why Prince William County, led by board of supervisors chairman and rising state politician Corey A. Stewart, cracked down starting in 2007.

Prince William's law prodded many Hispanics to leave the county, regardless of their immigration status or citizenship, because they felt they were being profiled by police. Stewart wants to take the Prince William experience statewide with his "Virginia Rule of Law" campaign.

The sad truth is that these settlement patterns are sparking racism that had seemed to be abating in America. Just 50 years ago, so-called "blockbusting" led African-Americans into tight, white, ethno-centric neighborhoods of big cities such as Chicago and New York.
The battleground has since shifted to the wide highways and big-box stores of outer suburbia. But the dynamics are the same. White Americans had felt safe in such places but somehow now feel threatened by new arrivals. The reason? It's only skin deep.

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  | December 15, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Prince William County, Va. Politics, Virginia, crime, development, economy, education, history, housing, immigration, police, real estate, religion, schools, traffic, transportation  
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Comments

"But the dynamics are the same. White Americans had felt safe in such places but somehow now feel threatened by new arrivals. The reason? It's only skin deep."

***********************

White surbanites mortgaged themselves to the hilt to escape the city and provide a better quality of life for their families. Now, poor & unskilled immigrants with big families invade their communities, drive up taxes & drive down property values. To be angry about that is "racist"?

To resent having your childrens' education hampered by overcrowded classrooms full of ESL students who suck up all the teachers' time and schools resources is "racist"?

Hyper-violent gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street invade the suburbs. 15 y/o Dennys Guzman-Saenz is stabbed 72 times in Gaithersburg. To be shocked and frightened by that is "racist"?

Hispanic culture thinks drunk driving is macho. To be angered by the death of Sister Denise Mosier by drunk driving illegal alien is "racist"?

To object to your wives and daughters being sexually harassed by loitering day laborers is "racist"?

To not want 15 unrelated people with 10 cars living in a 3-bedroom house next door is "racist"?

To not be able to understand the store clerks where you shop is "racist"?

Get your head out of your butt, Galuska!

Posted by: pmendez | December 15, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Playing the racist card is the last refuge of disreputable scoundrels, Galuska. I and my colleagues out here in Prince William County couldn't care less if the illegal alien is from Mexico, Ireland, Ukrane, or Nigeria. They're killing us and robbing us and they've all got to go.

Posted by: Advocator | December 15, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Q: "White surbanites mortgaged themselves to the hilt to escape the city and provide a better quality of life for their families. Now, poor & unskilled immigrants with big families invade their communities, drive up taxes & drive down property values. To be angry about that is "racist"?"

A:Yes, it is discriminatory (and racist in most cases, since most immigrants coming to this country aren't white.) if you complain that immigrants are somehow ruining your "white" experience by moving to your town. And when you talk about escaping the city are you really just talking about escaping the same immigrants who instead moved to the city?

Instead of worrying about the decline of your quality of life declining why don't you find a positive way to contribute to theirs? Volunteer, petition for more ESL classes. All of a sudden you'll find yourself empathize with the individuals you accuse of ruining your town while improving their lives and helping make sure that they become more productive members of society thus moving towards solving many of the "problems" for you and all your white friends.

/i'm white too.

Posted by: cmerchan | December 16, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Ah, we have no satisfactory answer to the illegality of those who are in our country illegally, so we must cry racism!

When truth, and logic fail, cry racism!

Mr. Galuszka, what part of "illegal" is it that you fail to understand?

No amnesty of any kind for any illegal alien.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | December 16, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Ah, we have no satisfactory answer to the illegality of those who are in our country illegally, so we must cry racism!

When truth, and logic fail, cry racism!

Mr. Galuszka, what part of "illegal" is it that you fail to understand?

No amnesty of any kind for any illegal alien.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | December 16, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Everyone in the USA has voiced their concerns and problems we have with our immigration problems here. Our Government has not listened to any one of us. They seem to have a set agenda on this problem and are going to do whatever they want to do no matter what the public says or does! We all have been talking in vein and nothing that any of us have said has sunk in to the minds of our Government officals!

Posted by: randykree | December 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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