Stewart Testifies at Immigration Enforcement Hearing
Prince William County Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) testified before the House Republican Policy Committee on immigration enforcement this afternoon.
Not sure exactly what he had to say, since he spoke "extemporaneously" -- his office sent out a release announcing his appearance after the hearing started. The last time Stewart testified before Congress, he veered from the county-prepared text, upsetting some supervisors.
On his way into the Board of Supervisors meeting, which started before he made it back to Prince William, he said he spoke about the "remarkable success of the crackdown on illegal immigration," citing a 19.3 percent decrease in the crime rate.
Only thing is, the number he's touting is not new. It was first released in February and represents a drop between 2006 and 2007 - long before illegal immigration enforcement went into effect this March. The board did, however, begin discussing the measures last summer.
"Although that's technically true, the reality is illegal immigrants began leaving as soon as we announced the policy," Stewart said.
Tying the declining crime rate to the crackdown is misleading, immigrant advocate groups have said.
Police Chief Charlie T. Deane did send the board up-to-date crime numbers for 2008 late last month. But Stewart isn't using those numbers and they show no demonstrable difference. Besides, crime rates in Prince William County have shown a steady decrease over the last five years.
-- Kristen Mack
July 8, 2008; 4:03 PM ET
Categories: Immigration , Kristen Mack , Prince William
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