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.

The Examiner looks at the different phases of the Immigration Resolution. The heart of the controversy about the Institute’s findings seems to be the vetting process of the BOCS’s actions. Critics of the findings, including Corey Stewart, say that there was proper vetting and that the long, marathon citizen’s time of October 16, 2007 was sufficient discussion.

According to Stewart,

“This was the most widely debated issue before the board in at least 25 years,” he said, citing an all-night “marathon” public input session the night of Oct. 16, 2007, before the second iteration of the resolution was passed.

Stewart added that he was never contacted during the research portion of the report. “I was at the center of the debate,” he said. “It looks to me like they had a conclusion they had in mind.”

So Corey feels the debate is all about him? Goodness gracious. He felt they had a conclusion in mind? I wonder what those hundreds of souls who spoke at the marathon meeting on October 16, 2007 felt when each and every supervisor voted yes to the resolution that was heard without a public hearing. Perhaps this was the most honest appraisal of the situation yet. Corey feels it was all about him. Was it?

Perhaps Corey Stewart needs to stop and think a minute. Did the BOCS follow their own governing rules about public hearings? No one debates that the October 16, 2007 meeting was probably the longest citizens’s time on record. But Citizens’ Time is NOT a public hearing. More to come on that subject…..

17 Thoughts to “More Discord on the Brookings Institute Report Part 1”

  1. Second-Alamo

    Please, someone explain the difference between a ‘public hearing’ and the marathon meeting where the public was heard by the BOCS. Isn’t the end result the same? The public voiced their opinions in the presence of the BOCS. What else do you want? What are the governing rules about public hearings that you question? Restating the rules would be a better approach to support your point of view than grousing about the terminology.

  2. A public hearing allows people to ask questions of the Board, hear answers, respond. There is a dialogue. Also, Public Hearings are generally held BEFORE policy decisions are made. On October 16th, the policy decision had been made prior to the meeting. Citizens Time was a “just in case” measure Corey Stewart had ensured by sending out those campaign mailers/Citizens Time invitations at county taxpayer expense. But it turned out his colleagues had already been tortured enough to cave in. I thought it was noble of Marueen Caddigan and the other five Supervisors who joined her in saying, “You invited them here, then give them their full three minutes.”

    But that was then, this is now. We’re supposed to get a new Corey Stewart for 2009. I read it myself in the Washington Post. Out with Corey the Extremist. Time for Corey the Moderate.

    So he doesn’t like a Brookings Institute report? Tough. He needs to be a man, accept the criticism, and go back to work.

    Our county can’t afford the distraction of yet another Corey Stewart Immigration Demagoguery Press Junket.

    Anyone who has seen the exchange between Corey Stewart and Linda Chavez at the U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearing knows there was no research and no data to justify such a costly, drastic, and legally dubious law:

    And, if Corey Stewart had had even a modicum of concern about the unintended consequences, cost to taxpayers, or potential economic impact of the Resolution, he might have considered looking into these matters BEFORE the law was introduced and voted upon at the VERY NEXT MEETING. But, he showed a remarkable lack of curiosity in regard to any and all information that was not useful for his media spin. Facts were not sought after, and indeed were dismissed unless they lent themselves to immigration demagoguery as a campaign strategy for the 2007 election.

    The words of caution I remember hearing came from the Chief of Police and he was ignored.

    The Board rushed ahead and voted the Immigration Resolution into law as if there were some kind of crisis. This kind of thing always makes me ask whether those who are rushing the process have something to hide.

    By passing this law which radically altered county policy BEFORE any of these matters were properly investigated, Corey Stewart forced this county to go through an agonizing process of discovery. We learned of the exorbitant cost to taxpayers after the law had passed. We learned about the economic impacts after the law was funded. And, we learned about the negative effects on our public safety after the law had been changed so many times, our police officers had lost the trust of our minority and immigrant communities.

    There is no way to estimate unreported crime, but unreported crime is in many ways the worst kind of crime, because law enforcement has no opportunity to bring the culprits to justice before they strike again. The fact is, both before and after the Immigration Resolution, immigrants were more often the victims than the perpetrators, and, if we become known as a community where people don’t report crimes, we’ll all be less safe.

    Our community suffers every day due to this shortsighted, politically motivated travesty. The least Corey Stewart can do is keep true to his word. It hasn’t even been a month since he told the Post he wanted to abandon social issues and work on the issues that truly affect our lives.

  3. Moon-howler


    SA, I am working on that as we speak. Give me a few more minutes. It is all etched in stone by the Code of VA. It has to do with public advertizing etc.

    I am beginning to see the light now. Someone forgot to advertize for a public hearing, therefore over $30k was wasted mailing every household an invitation, hoping no one would notice that procedure had not been followed.

  4. anona


    What public hearing have I ever watched where there was a dialogue with questions being answered and answered? NONE and I have watched hundreds of public hearings. I wish that is how it is but that isn’t what happens. Both sides just march up there, spout their side for 3 minutes, and the board sits there. Hilda Barg and John Jenkins sometimes would appear to fall asleep during public hearings. I can’t say I blame them. They don’t answer questions and they don’t have any type of back and forth. There is rarely any comment at all unless someone is being unruly and called down. Other than the timing, the citizens time is exactly like a public hearing. Public hearings are not right before decisions are made. They can close the public hearing and vote a few weeks later. In fact they frequently do this in tough development issues so that the angry mobs aren’t there at the time of the vote.

    Citizen’s time is actually better to comment in some cases because you can do that anytime and don’t have to sit there and wait for the public hearing to come up later in the meeting.

  5. Alanna

    There was no public hearing. Period.

    Back in July, Corey cut down citizens’ comments to 1 minute. And to boot, he tried to do it again in October. If it wasn’t for Maureen and the other Supervisors (minus Stirrup), citizens once again would have been given a minute to speak. Now who here is going to stand up for that non-sense and claim that’s a public hearing?

  6. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I don’t know Corey could have gotten the idea that he was at the center of this debate. Oh, wait, certain people bring up his name in association with the Resolution every 35 seconds here. Maybe that’s where he might have gotten that idea.

  7. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    No public hearing vs. Marathon session of citizen’s time. Reminds me of Clinton arguing over the meaning of the word “is”. But that’s how liberals roll. Seems that most of what folks like Alanna are angry about is that the supervisors didn’t let her argue ’till she was blue in the face, rambling on with the same garbage for hours on end. What a shame that would have been to waste people’s valuable time that way.

  8. Moon-howler

    A new, rather boring thread, has been posted giving code definitions of public hearing both at the state and local levels. There is a difference.

    We were not the ones making a big deal out of it. We certainly haven’t called anyone liars over it, like has been done on other blogs.

    If we are going to discuss rule of law, then we need to stick with what is and what is not a public hearing. And for the record, I honestly do not care. I just don’t like the word liar being bandied about.

  9. Moon-howler

    Slow, he really should stop reading this blog if it is going to give him delusions of grandeur. 😉

  10. Alanna

    I’ll agree with you Slowpoke, seems silly that this is what is being argued about. I think Letiecq is the one who took exception to this part of the report, not me. I’m not convinced public hearings would have resulted in a different outcome. It just would have been more democratic, less dramatic, more equitable. Instead we ended up with a joke, a marathon Citizens’ Time funded by $30,000 of taxpayers money, partly as a re-election stunt.

  11. Alanna

    The immigration attorney from Immigration Reform Law Institute said that Stewart saw the political possibilities with this issue but wanted to know that there was a real problem. Guess he bought their bill of goods, hook line and sinker.

  12. Moon-howler

    Alanna, do you think that the $30k was an attempt to replace the public hearing that did not take place? I agree with you. I doubt very seriously if holding a public hearing would have caused a different outcome. However, when authors are called liars, I feel compelled to defend them if I know differently.

    Me-n-u is to be commended on the dark screen for stating the correct account, that no public hearing was held.

  13. Why couldn’t we have a referendum where the whole county votes on the issue?

  14. Moon-howler

    I think a referendum is a long, drawm out process. I don’t remember there ever being one in PWC. I think they are also expensive.

  15. They need to make it possible to vote through the internet just as it’s possible to vote by absentee ballot. This would drastically cut down on the cost.

    But nobody in power wants that because then, the will of the people would have a much greater voice.

  16. A referendum would have been preferable. It would have allowed conservatives to vote a Republican ticket and still vote against the immigration crackdown. The 2007 election was basically the usual disengaged but conservative-leaning electerate plus an infusion of extremists to lift Corey to victory. If given a choice, conservatives would have split.

    I do feel like a public hearing might have made a difference, if only because it would have been scheduled prior to the Board’s decision as opposed to after.

  17. Moon-howler

    I think the outcome would have been the same.

    Internet voting leaves too much room for cheating. Look at the damage a hacker can do. Plus not everyone has access to internet.

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