In 2007, Prince William County Supervisors passed the “Immigration Resolution” which stated in part that “illegal immigration has been determined to cause economic hardship and lawlessness.” Has our outcome supported the assertion that ‘more illegals cause more crime and worse economic conditions’ with the converse being ‘less illegals therefore less crime and a better economy’?
According to the Prince William County Crime Report for 2008, crime now, one year after the resolution’s passage crime is slightly increased. This effectively ends our 5 year decreasing crime rate trend which obviously must have existed during our “influx of illegals.”
In financial terms, can we state that our economic hardships have lessened since the introduction of the resolution? Prince William County now leads the state and ranks top in the nation in foreclosures, and our home values have dropped 32%. The neighborhood issues that existed prior to the passage of the resolution are resurfacing as foreclosed homes bought by real estate investors are turned into rental properties. And our County budget is facing deep cuts this year with an equally dismal prospect for next.
Many predicted dire consequences but Supervisors refused to heed their warnings. Probably nobody said it better than Oklahoma Republican State Representative Shane Jett, who opposed similar legislation in his state, when he stated:
“[the passage of these types of legislations] will be the single most destructive economic disaster since the Dust Bowl,”
Now with almost one full year of crime figures, foreclosure numbers, home values, and tax revenue numbers compiled can we definitively state that the assertions in the resolution were completely unfounded? Strictly speaking, we had lower crime rates and a better economy when the ‘illegals’ were here. Will the status quo remain, as Stewart continues to assert that the resolution is working well?
Obviously this issue has been the single most divisive issue to happen here. Will Supervisors heed Dr. Fuller’s advice, and change course? Or, are they content with allowing Chairman Stewart to continue down this path hoping that voters will only hold him responsible?