Gainesville Times Review of 9500Liberty Special Screening

An article in the Gainesville Times today provides an intelligent, in-depth review of the 9500Liberty special screening to explain the April 29th roll-back of the Immigration Resolution.

For those who were not there last Friday, there is another screening in the works for next week, probably Thursday. In the mean time, here is the more popular of two clips on the 9500Liberty channel, even though the other one is more interesting:

I feel like this was a much more inquisitive piece of writing. The MJM article focused on varying reactions while this article focused on the content of the film:

The film had its share of suspense and drama, even for those who were familiar with the outcomes of each board vote.

Nohe is presented at some points in a fashion similar to a reality television show star who sits in front of a camera and talks about what was going through his mind in between clips of a particular situation.

His most prominent role comes during the climax when the board was trying to decide on a tax rate. At the centerpiece of the funding issue was the $3.1 million price tag to put video cameras in police cars. Deane has asked for the cameras to allow officers to fight the inevitable lawsuits based on charges of racial profiling.

“The whole program’s getting unbelievably expensive,” said Nohe.

Part of the problem was that the resolution had changed several times since its inception.

Originally, it called for police to check the immigration status of every person stopped for a violation. It was later changed to allow police to check the immigration status if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect is an illegal immigrant. That variation is the one that prompted the chief to ask for cameras in the police cars.

In order to pay for the cameras, the real estate tax rate would have had to be set at 98.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. After the 98.7 rate failed on a 4-4 vote, Principi asked for a 97-cent rate on a motion to eliminate the cameras and require all immigration checks to be done post-arrest.

That failed 7-1.

Viewers find out here that during a behind-the-scenes meeting between Stewart and Principi, the Republican chairman asked the Democrat to go back on his resolution.

“There’s not a hell’s worth of chance that I would oppose it,” the Woodbridge supervisor said he responded, later adding that since their break, he had the five votes needed to get a similar version of his motion passed with fewer cameras and all immigration checks moved to post-arrest.

It passed unanimously, leading Principi, who once said the illegal immigration resolution was “essentially failing,” to tell the filmmakers on camera, “I’m going to declare victory and go home.”

The post-arrest scenario, which is what was finally adopted, means that after a person has been charged with a crime, police will investigate their immigration status. Since every person charged will be checked, there is less concern about racial-profiling complaints.

Just Call the Cops

Deja Vu, PWConservative posts about his second encounter(in two months) with a hit & run driver and for the second time he didn’t call the cops. Just to clarify, I have never suggested that the police shouldn’t be summoned to investigate a car accident. If you have property damage and need a police report, call the police! In the same situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to call.

But ,oddly, PWConservative tries to blame me for giving him the “impression that the Gestapo had been going door to door dragging every single Hispanic off to a Deportation Camp.”

Anyway, It’s time to stop the fear mongering, Accusing Conservatives of Xenophobia while using fear tactics to advance a political agenda is not only hypocritical, But it’s also not that different from terrorism.

– Fear mongering? Really.

In both these cases the guys stopped the cars, inspected damage and presumably checked to see if you were alright. In the first incident, there was no damage, you neglected to mention whether or not that was the case this time? Anyways, if someone stops checks, looks etc… that doesn’t sound like the typical hit & run.

Anyways, for clarification, what I have said is the following:

  • Where’s the US’s accountability for this mess? Since we had the proverbial welcome mat out, didn’t enforce our own laws, allowed people to buy into the American Dream of homeownership, etc… Why now is it all the illegal immigrant’s fault? In fact, conceivably they are the only ones who have acted in their best self-interest which is 100% understandable.
  • In terms of the original adopted ‘Immigration Resolution’, the ‘probable cause’ portion whereby the police are filing forms with Immigration Customs Enforcement was a complete waste of time and resources considering they can’t get the worst of the worst out of the jails in a timely manner.
  • “Apparently the County’s resolution wasn’t as drastic as those on the left would have us believe.”

  • Quick refresher, at the introduction of the Resolution, they wanted to restrict park & library access which was the equivalent of the Gestapo.
  • PWC is only 1 out of 60 Counties to adopt the 287(g) and according to the understanding they are limited to 40 prisoners per month. Anybody up for the math on this one? But basically, it means your fender bender/illegal driver guy will never be one of the worst of the worst that ICE is interested in.
  • The resolution has caused people to leave the county, and that viewpoint is probably more promoted by HSM’ers in an attempt to try and convince people that the ‘problem’ is solved. In fact, they(HSM’ers) perhaps more than us have been touting this failure as a success. I’ll be the first to suggest that it’s not the success that it’s cracked up to be.
  • Just do me a favor, call the cops next time.

    NY Times: The Laws Cops Can’t Enforce

    This Op-Ed in the NY Times, hits the nail on the head. We owe it to our law enforcement officers to come up with a workable federal immigration policy that does not force police departments to succumb to political pressures to ‘reduce immigration by using racial profiling and harassment’.

    Without a national immigration policy, a new culture of lawlessness will increasingly permeate our society. In cities, politicians will pressure police departments to reduce immigration by using racial profiling and harassment. At the same time, immigrants who fear that the police will help deport them will rely less on their local officers and instead give thugs control of their neighborhoods.

    Many top law enforcement officials were part of the community policing revolution of the 1980s and ’90s. We have a deep concern for constitutional rights and social justice. We believe that effective policing requires residents, regardless of immigration status, to trust the police.

    We are also students of the mistakes of our predecessors. Past police practices helped lead to the civil unrest of the 1960s, which tore our nation apart along racial and political lines. We do not want to repeat those mistakes.

    America’s police officers deserve thoughtful federal leadership so that we can continue doing our best to provide our country with the security that defines a civilized society.

    MJM: Liberty Video Screening Draws Mixed Reviews

    The Manassas Journal Messenger reports on the Friday night screening of the latest version of the 9500 Liberty screening.

    According to the article,

    The reaction to the film ran the gamut, after its showing Friday night at Trinity Episcopal Church in Manassas.

    Chris Pannell, who left Help Save Manassas this spring, praised the video. Woodbridge Workers Committee Nancy Lyall enjoyed the film, but expressed her outrage at the resolution.

    City Councilman Jonathan Way said the presentation was interesting but that he learned nothing new.

    “It was far less contentious and argumentative than I thought it might have been,” Way said.

    Conversely, Help Save Manassas member Maureen Wood said the video was one-sided, made Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart look like a fool and the filmmakers and she would never “see eye to eye on this issue.”

    MJM: County sees spot of light in housing

    According to the Manassas Journal Messenger,

    The big difference seems to be price. At the same time Prince William’s sales statistics were soaring 72 percent, median and average sales prices for homes were falling by 34 percent and 31 percent, respectively. In the second quarter of 2008, the county’s median price for a home was $242,232; in the same quarter for 2007, that number stood at $366,845. For the average, the second quarter numbers in Prince William stood at $275,311 in 2008 and $398,775 in 2007.

    In this same time period, meanwhile, Northern Virginia’s home prices only dropped on average 12 percent …

    Selling everything at bargain blowout prices can’t be good; especially come next year when the County has to assess residential real estate and set the tax rate again.

    WP: Va. Jails to Report Foreign Inmates

    Great article in the Washington Post concerning the new Virginia requirement and its comparison to Prince William.

    Under the state law, local jails probably will spend a fraction of the $10.5 million Prince Willliam has budgeted over the next five years for the ICE partnership.

    ICE cannot say how many illegal immigrants from a particular jurisdiction are being deported, only that it cannot remove as many as it would like because of budget limitations. So there are no statistics about what ultimately happens to the illegal immigrants who are reported to ICE — either by way of the new state law or through the federal program, which trains local officers to identify and detain undocumented suspects charged with crimes.

    July 25 9500liberty Screening w/ Special Guests

    Update July 26th: The special guests were Supervisor Wally Covington and Supervisor Marty Nohe. Also in attendance were Kris Nohe, Marty Nohe’s Senior Aide Tracy Gordon, and Supervisor John Stirrup aide Karen Ulrich.

    Update July 25th: Getting word that we will have special guests from the county government attending tonight’s screening. I look forward to seeing everybody there!

    Friday, July 25th at 7:30pm
    Trinity Episcopal Church
    9325 West Street
    Manassas, VA 20110

    MJM: Not too embarrassed

    From today’s edition of the Potomac News/Manassas Journal Messenger:

    Published: July 24, 2008

    As noted in a recent editorial in a nearby national newspaper, it’s been a year since the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County “launched its drive to hound, harass and humiliate illegal immigrants.” The editorial cites what it calls the toxic effects of the board’s resolution against illegal immigration and claims that “across the nation,” our county has become known as an intolerant community.

    We have said before that the resolution doesn’t accomplish anything valuable and the machinations necessary to pursue the policy set by that resolution — like all the hoops through which the county police must jump — have certainly put an unnecessary strain the pocketbooks of taxpayers.

    But your local paper agrees with the national newspaper that the board’s action is embarrassing for most of us who live here.

    It’s not necessarily this newspaper’s job to practice boosterism and, certainly, part of our job is to point out some of the blemishes we see when the community looks in the mirror, but a year after the board’s regrettable move, we thought it might be appropriate to remind ourselves of the county’s attributes of which we can be proud.

    So we turned to the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce for some assessments that are far from embarrassing:

    1. Our location: We are close the capital of the free world and home to many federal government employees. We have access to good housing and affordable office space.

    2. Transportation: Yes, we have issues, but we also have access to three major airports and two smaller ones and a county government that, in the past, has stepped up to build needed some road improvements like the Prince William Parkway and the extended Va. 234.

    3. Education: The county is home to a university research and development facility at George Mason and a huge public school system, where teachers work hard to foster success among 72,000 students. (That’s more people than a small city.)

    4. Quality of life: We have a couple of symphony orchestras, several community choral groups a thriving theater community, national parks, local parks and — despite the impression left by the
    resolution — a diverse population that brings much to any table. We also have a huge heart, demonstrated by ACTS and SERVE and many smaller groups that focus on taking care of those in need.

    Yes, that 1-year-old resolution is an ugly zit, but the overall reflection from our mirror shows us a pretty good place to live, work and play.

    Profile of Chief Deane in Post

    Since the “crackdown” on illegal immigration began a year ago, our respected and beloved Chief Charlie Deane has been placed on the frontline of an ugly political battle. He is a good soldier and has tried to carry out this ill-conceived order with as much integrity and intelligence as possible. Without Chief Deane at the helm of the police department, I’m certain that the morale of the department would have slumped during the turmoil and the county would have experienced real disorder. I have been very grateful to him for not quitting the job even when he was attacked by Chairman Corey Stewart and nativist blogger Greg Letiecq for the stupid charge of committing “treason” for attending an information session about the immigration policy organized by the Mexican consulate. He tried his best to warn the Board just before the first vote on the Immigration Resolution on July 10th that the Resolution would lead to “unintended consequences.” In his brief speech, he pretty much predicted what’s happened to our county in the past year since Corey Stewart and John Stirrup decided to use illegal immigration to get themselves reelected.

    Kristen Mack has written an extensive profile of Chief Deane published on the front page of the Washington Post Metro section today. It’s full of good personal details about the Chief, but there are enormous holes in the story. It fails to address the crux of the matter. Chief Deane is in the “uneasy position” that he is in because of Stewart’s leadership tactics: grandstanding, lying, and bullying. The Chairman, bless his heart, has no real regard for the wisdom and expertise of professional public servants in the government such as Chief Deane or County Executive Craig Gerhart. As long as Stewart engages in governing according to the Rovean principle of a “permanent campaign,” many good people in our government will be in “uneasy positions” and will consider leaving. We must find a way of containing the damage done by Stewart’s failure in leadership so that great public servants like Chief Deane can thrive in his job instead of being stymied by having to spend their time ducking and dodging Corey’s crap and Greg’s army.

    Turn PW Blue suggests a clear, concise, reasonable, and humane solution to immigration!

    What I have always respected about Turn PW Blue, is the reasonable and logical way he approaches problem solving, while still taking into consideration the human perspective.  What PW proposes are solutions that are not only fair BUT can be implemented. I believe this is an approach that most people could support. Let’s talk about it!

    Turn PW Blue, 23. July 2008, 10:05
    OK, this is going to be long–not apologizing, just warning…

    This issue, like so many others facing our nation today, has been brought down to a sound-bite level that does none of us any good. We want to boil it down into simplistic terms and arguments–you either “get the problem” or you’re an illegal alien sympathizer…if you question cracking down on illegal immigrants, you’re racist…you’re either with us or you’re against us.

    Well, folks, it’s not that simple. There are shades of grey and nuances of position.

    I have a problem with illegal immigration. I don’t think it’s right. I don’t believe there should be a blind eye to what is, after all is said and done, an illegal action. But I also don’t believe that rounding up everyone without proper documentation is the answer. I empathize with those who have risked an awful lot to try to make it to the United States simply on the ideal that a better life will await them. Isn’t that, after all, the message we try to send about America? It’s the land of boundless opportunity. Further, the economist and free-marketer in me sees the value of the ready flow of labor in the economy.

    So I’m torn.

    On one hand you have a group that has violated the law. They are here illegally. The law and order side of me says all else is not germane to the discussion. They broke a law. They should not be here. But the human side is not irrelevant. In fact, it is the very core of who we are as a nation. Are we not a nation of immigrants? Were we not founded by people seeking to escape persecution and to live free? Is that not the very premise upon which we founded this great republic?

    So here’s my plan…my modest proposal, if you will.

    One, our current immigration laws are broken. The quotas we have established are arbitrary. The process to become a legal citizen is overly complex and too restrictive. We need to reset our quotas and institute comprehensive immigration reform that includes temporary worker programs. We can look to the EU for some ideas on how such programs might work.

    Second, we need to establish a path to citizenship for those who are already here and have been productive, law-abiding members of our society. It is all well and good to say that they are tainted by their first act of lawlessness and not fit for citizenship, but let’s be realistic. There are at least 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. It is neither rational nor feasible to even ponder a course of action that does not include some way to legitimize those who, except for the “original sin” of entering the country illegally, have lived model lives. We cannot deport 12 million+, so let’s not muddy the waters by even trying to contemplate how we can do that. So who qualifies? One, longevity counts. Show proof you’ve been in the country more than five years and you can enter the program. Been here less than five years? You can apply for a temporary worker visa or go home. Two, law breakers are out. Drive drunk? You go home. Steal? You go home. Any misdemeanor or felony is a ticket to deportation. Three, pass the naturalization exam.

    Third, in conjunction with reform to our immigrations laws, we need to put some teeth in our immigration enforcement. So long as a viable worker visa program exists and quotas are set reasonably, there is no reason not to tighten up the border and crack down on those who attempt to enter the country through illegal means. Additionally, we need to go after those who provide the very incentive for people to risk everything to come here–employers. As part of our immigration reform, we need to put in place substantial penalties for those who hire and exploit undocumented workers. Large fines and jail time are appropriate for the most egregious and habitual violators. Eliminate the demand for cheap, immigrant labor and the supply will dry up. Put in a system to check immigration status that actually works (the current eVerify is a disaster).

    At the local government level, get out of the immigration debate. All Corey Stewart has done is pawn off the problem on someone else, create a sense of ill-will with surrounding jurisdictions, and paint PWC as intolerant (at best) and bigoted (at worst). Local government should be dealing with local issues. With all the talk about illegal immigration and the time and effort expended on this issue, other core responsibilities of local government have been ignored (to our peril). Our roads are crowded and our schools are bursting. Our tax base is too reliant on residential. Far too many of our citizens are on the road 30 minutes to several hours a day commuting outside of PWC to find gainful employment. You want to make a name for yourself in PWC politics? Find a way to fix those issues and stop looking for cheap publicity by latching on to the newest “hot topic” in confrontational governing.

    Notice that no where in this proposal do I talk about language or culture. We are a nation in constant flux. Our culture is an agglomeration of the cultures of our own ancestors with some homespun spice. You cannot legislate culture. You cannot legislate acculturation. Our “American” culture has survived past influxes of immigrants (who were, at the time, considered “undesirable” and a “threat” to the American way of life). We will survive and prosper through this one as well.

    WP Editorial: Prince William, a Year Later

    According to the Washington Post,

    Prince William, a Year Later
    A crackdown’s toxic effects

    ONE YEAR after Prince William County launched its drive to hound, harass and humiliate illegal immigrants, the toxic effects of the policy — on the county’s reputation, social cohesion, political discourse and neighbors — are increasingly clear.

    Across the nation, Prince William has become synonymous with an ugly strain of nativist intolerance that has deep roots in American history but which is a slander on the county’s generally well-educated and diverse population. In this region, almost every other major jurisdiction has spurned Prince William’s approach.

    Minorities account for almost half of Prince William’s 370,000 people, and a large slice of that population — around 20 percent — is Hispanic. Most of them are legal residents, but many also have ties of kinship, friendship or employment with others who are undocumented. Many say they have been made to feel unwelcome in Prince William. This year, several dozen religious leaders in the county wrote to local elected officials, warning them of the divisive consequences of the county’s venomous campaign.

    Predictably, they got the brushoff from Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, who has done more than anyone else to plant seeds of discord and hatred in the county. Mr. Stewart is an avid opportunist and manipulator who has an arm’s-length relationship with public candor. Not long ago, he said that a plan to install cameras in police cars — a precondition for his preferred policy of allowing officers to ask suspects about their immigration status almost at will before arrest — would be dropped “over my dead body”; then he dropped it. Lately, he has tried to link a decline in crime to the harsh policies he has advocated. Trouble is, much of the drop is attributable to a fall in robberies that predates the crackdown on illegal immigrants and that probably stemmed from an aggressive anti-robbery campaign by the police.

    So what has the county achieved with its effort to intimidate undocumented newcomers by ordering checks on the immigration status of all detainees after arrest and by denying certain social services to illegal immigrants? Without doubt, it has prompted hundreds of Hispanics — legal and illegal — to depart the county. Many of them have moved to surrounding jurisdictions, where they are enrolling in public schools and turning to local government services or nonprofits for help. To Mr. Stewart and his allies, this beggar-thy-neighbor policy is a success. In fact, it has simply branded Prince William as the one locality in the Washington area where demagoguery by elected officials has gotten the better of coolheaded public deliberation.

    MJM: A Sarcastic Thanks for Clearing Our Community

    A letter to the editor from a local teen appeared yesterday in the Manassas Journal Messenger.

    Suzie Eskelund
    Published: July 20, 2008

    I am a 17-year-old caucasian girl who has lived in Manassas my whole life. I just want to say thank you for allowing the white, self-righteous and supremacist legal citizens of this fine, upstanding county
    to once again have the important jobs back, like fast food and construction. I know it has always been my dream to work the drive through at my neighborhood McDonald’s and now you have made that
    dream more possible. I am so proud to be a part of a city that is taking a stand against those pesky brown people. I was riding in the car with my Hawaiian friend when we got pulled over so the nice
    policeman could make sure she wasn’t an illegal Latina. I know that in my heart I couldn’t be more thankful for those new laws that you helped pass to racially profile everyone with dark skin. Gee, I don’t even know why I’m friends with her.

    I know that no one who eats tacos and burritos can be a good person. I mean hey, I don’t want that new Chipotle on Liberia Avenue! These people just need to go back to Mexico and take their children.
    They deserve to starve, be in constant danger, and have a poor education.

    After all, they were born in an inferior country! I don’t want any new customs in my life.

    I want to be closed-minded and be surrounded by my pasty friends forever. Please get that diversity away from me!

    Now people say that all Americans immigrated here. Well that may be true, but at least all of mine spoke English when they came here! Oh wait… except for my Danish, French, and German relatives.
    But no matter, at least it wasn’t Spanish. When I was in high school and I was trying to learn another language, I had the hardest time and struggled through all three years. I hardly remember any of that
    language, but who cares? Learning a second language may be really hard for anyone, but it doesn’t matter if your first language was English.

    Now I look around my upper middle-class neighborhood and see that there are far fewer children for my neighbors to play with. But I rest assured knowing that when they play tag, they won’t get tagged by Latino cooties anymore.

    Next, we should give them disease-infested blankets; it worked when we wanted to get rid of Native Americans.

    Thank you once again for your efforts to cleanse our community,


    Washingtonian Magazine Declares PWCBoS Villians

    According to this month’s edition of Washingtonian Magazine, our Prince William County Board of Supervisors have been declared villians by Washington area residents. Apparently they are considered to be as evil as former DC mayor – Marion Barry, Dan Snyder from the Washington Redskins and George W. Bush. Anyone interested in reading should purchase this month’s edition where it is layed out in black & white for the whole Country to read. What an embarassment!