More Discord on the Brookings Institute Report Part 1

The DC Examiner today examined the reactions to the Brookings Institute Study of Prince William County’s Immigration Resolution by some who find fault with the report.

Prince William County’s government was unprepared for — and reacted ineffectively to — a massive influx of Hispanic immigrants, according to a study released this week, but some have raised questions about the report’s methods and findings.

The report by Audrey Singer, Jill H. Wilson and Brooke DeRenzis of the Brookings Institution also concluded that there was not sufficient vetting of the immigration resolution or research into its potential consequences before its passage two years ago.

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Corey Stewart Revisits the Immigration Resolution on WAMU

Yesterday Corey Stewart, along with Brooking Institute senior fellow Audrey Singer, were guests on the WAMU Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Some people have suggested that Corey Stewart is weakening on the Immigration Resolution.  According to the News and Messenger, Stewarts says no, he isn’t.

Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart, R-at large, said the county’s illegal immigration resolution is here to stay even in these hard economic times.

“We think it’s working and we’re going to keep it,” Stewart said in an interview Wednesday on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, a National Public Radio affiliate.

Nnamdi asked Stewart if his focus hadn’t wavered recently in light of record foreclosures in Prince William County resulting from the failing economy.

Stewart told Nnamdi that he thought people in the community were satisfied with things as they stand, and the board wouldn’t abandon the resolution that first came under discussion in July 2007. The resolution was finally implemented in July 2008 and required police to ask anyone they stopped about their immigration status.

“Those in the community seem to be content with it, even those who opposed the policy initially,” Stewart said.

Still other things demand the board’s attention, Stewart said.

“We’re trying to move on to other problems and other concerns, namely the economy,” Stewart said. “People are worried about their jobs and their homes and everything else.

“We’ve got a lot of financial problems in the county just like a lot of other counties. We’ve had to cut about 20 percent of our budget,” Stewart said.

It sounds like Corey wants it both ways. He doesn’t want to leave the anti-immigration pack but also doesn’t want to linger. Is he now trumpeting the ‘time to move on’ theme?

[UPDATE:  Here is the link Leila left for us to listen to the interview with Stewart and Singer]  

Prince William County Foreclosure Rates in Comparison to Surrounding Jurisdictions

According to this chart from the George Mason Regional Analysis Center, Prince William County Foreclosure Rates are OFF THE CHART in comparison to surrounding jurisdictions. WTOP news is reporting Prince William property values have dropped more than double of Fairfax County and slightly more than double of Loudoun County.
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Mexican-American Discrimination Exposed on American Experience

Last night A Class Apart was shown on all the PBS channels.  I am sorry I didn’t realize it was on earlier so I could have posted an announcement.  You can now view information about the film online.  It isn’t the entire program but gives a good overview. 


A Class Apart  tells of the Mexican-American Civil Rights movement in Texas in a post WWII world.  There was urgency in the film because of the age of those who had been leaders in this movement.  The case, Hernandez v. Texas happened in the 1950s so everyone involved was rising up in years.  It  challenged  Jim Crow-style discrimination in southwestern America. 


This little known Supreme Court case ended segregation of Mexican-Americans in schools and wiped out many social practices in the southwest that kept Mexican-Americans as second class citizens. 


It is rather amazing that this much information has been left out of the general history books.  According to the Houston Chronicle:


Hernandez v. Texas stemmed from the case of Pete Hernandez, a farmworker accused of killing a man in a bar fight in the Jackson County town of Edna in 1951. His case drew the attention of a group of San Antonio and Houston attorneys, who saw the case as a vehicle to break down the Jim Crow-style laws and customs that oppressed Mexican-Americans in the same fashion as African-Americans.

The attorneys argued that Hernandez could not receive a fair trial because Jackson County had systematically eliminated Mexican-Americans from juries. The state countered that Mexican-Americans were lumped in with Anglos under the law and thus were not entitled to special treatment under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

The case, the first to be argued by Mexican-American lawyers before the Supreme Court, was heard during the same term as the Brown v. Board of Education case seeking to outlaw segregation in public schools. In a decision that was overshadowed nationwide by the Brown decision a week later, the court ruled that Mexican-Americans were a distinct group entitled to the same constitutional protection as other minority groups.


Click here to view film on this case at PBS 

Additional reading: Houston Chronicle

Introduction from PBS

Chandra Levy Murder Solved, Perhaps

We rarely include stories on crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Most of the crimes are more than adequately covered by other blogs. However, this crime rocked the nation during the late spring and summer before 9/11. I chose to make an exception. At the heart of this story is the tale of diligent parents, incompetent police, a philandering congressman and ironically, a murdered intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in DC.
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Some Stimulus for Virginia Schools

Someone just sent me that latest from Virginia Education Association Director of Government Relations Robley Jones. Good news for the schools:

The significance of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is just beginning to sink in. Bush bailed out the banks and Obama has bailed out the schools! U.S. Department of Education ARRA funding for the 2009-2010 school year for Virginia includes the following:

State Fiscal Stabilization $1,202,770,052
Title I – $165,311,666
Ed. Technology – $10,801,292
IDEA Part B – $261,415,033
IDEA Part B, Pre-School – $9,470,492
Grand Total – $1,696,587,551

Dr. Frank Barham, the Executive Director of the Virginia School Board Association wisely sent a message to school board members across the state last night offering that, “Our [VSBA] advice is that you implement no RIF policies, amend or adopt new budgets until you get the printout from the state in the next few weeks.”

Please urge your superintendent and school board to follow Dr. Barham’s advice.

I am not sure what all this means but it tells school boards and superintendents to hold off on major decisions until the ink dries.

It looks like almost $1.7 billion dollars is being pumped into Virginia schools. I suppose what would be critical is when and how the money will be divvied up. PWC Schools are short $57 million. Will our notoriety for having the most foreclosures in the state give us a bigger piece of the pie?

A new industry to get us out of this economic disaster?

This article in the Washington Post, demonstrates, clearly, what I have been saying about this new industry of detaining undocumented immigrants. Is this how a moral country creates new jobs?

The November death of a Prince William County man in immigration custody at Piedmont Regional Jail has prompted Immigration and Customs Enforcement to suspend placing new detainees at the facility, three hours south of the District near Farmville, Va.

In recent years, the rural six-county jail has contracted with ICE at rock-bottom rates to become a principal storehouse for noncitizen detainees from Northern Virginia and the District awaiting deportation. But since the Nov. 28 death of detainee Guido Newbrough, ICE has launched an investigation into medical care at the facility, and its detainee population had plunged from 330 to 53 as of yesterday. As a result, 50 jail employees have been laid off.

“It’s a depressed area to begin with,” he said. “There’s not much industry left here. And the loss of 50 jobs equates to a whole lot of hardship.”

I find this idea extremely disturbing, the idea of “investors” making money off of a very human dilemma, one that can only be resolved with comprehensive immigration reform.

The suspension comes at a particularly sensitive time for Piedmont and the town of Farmville. Piedmont had been earning $46.25 a day for each of the ICE detainees it housed in dormitory-style cells with triple bunk beds. Business was so robust that a group of investors announced a deal with Farmville officials last year to build a $21 million, 1,050-bed, privately run immigration detention facility there, pledging to covert the town into a hub for ICE operations in the mid-Atlantic region.

“Justice Department: We Fail to Enforce Deportation Orders”

This Fox news article could not have come at a more appropriate time, considering the conversation we are having, revolving around the 7-11 ICE raid in Maryland. So, here is the crux of it, 80% of people with deportation judgements do NOT leave the country.

About 8,000 cases made it to the U.S. Court of Appeals last year and the study tracked the 7,200 cases in which the Justice Department prevailed. The study found that despite winning those cases, only 1,375 illegal immigrants — 19 percent — had been removed as of last month.

Talk about a broken system! We have SERIOUS financial and security issues facing this country. Do we REALLY want to expend all this wasted energy and money on people, who primarily, are simply working to feed their families? Do we want secure borders, sure, do we want to deal with gangs, sure, but clearly, we are wasting our money on an ICE endeavor that is failing, miserably failing.

The U.S. government spends tens of millions of dollars each year persuading federal circuit courts to uphold orders for thousands of illegal immigrants to leave the country, but those orders have been enforced in only one-fifth of the cases, according to sources familiar with a recent Justice Department study.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for “removing” illegal immigrants who stay in this country against the law. But the study found that more than 80 percent of the illegal immigrants whose deportation orders were upheld by a federal appeals court last year were still in the country as of five weeks ago, according to an internal Justice Department memo obtained by FOX News.

“If the people aren’t getting removed, why the heck are we spending all the money?” asked one former Justice Department official who left with the Bush administration.

Two sources familiar with the memo accompanying the Jan. 16 study said the Justice Department spends at least $20 million each year paying litigators to argue deportation cases in federal appeals courts. But, the former Justice Department official said the total cost to taxpayers is much higher considering the price tag of flying some 300 litigators around the country and putting them up in hotels. That’s not to mention the cost for federal and immigration courts to operate so they can hear the cases.