Texas Mayor Gears Caught in Deportation Furor

Texas mayor Herb Gears of Irving, Texas, is no Corey Stewart.  He is a man very torn between those who would run every last illegal immigrant out of town and those Hispanic business people and leaders who feel the measures that have been taken split families and are overall bad for the community.  Herb Gears, featured in the New York Times Remade in America series is a moderate.  

Two years ago, Irving decided to conduct immigration checks on everyone booked into the local jail.  First term mayor,  Herbert A. Gears, led the charge.  He felt that jail checks were far better than the more draconian measures encouraged and touted by his opponents and political enemies and he  proposed his plan as a means of compromise.  (Is this all sounding familiar?)


As battles over illegal immigration rage around the country, Irving’s crackdown is not unusual in itself. What makes it striking is that it happened with the blessing of a mayor like Mr. Gears, an immigrant-friendly Democrat with deep political ties to the city’s Hispanic leaders, a man who likes to preach that adapting to immigration – especially in a city like his, now almost half-Hispanic – is not a burden but an opportunity, or as he says, it’s “not a have-to, it’s a get-to.”

But as a wave of sentiment against illegal immigration built around Dallas and the nation, Mr. Gears came to realize that his city would be unable to remain on the sidelines – and that his own political future would depend on how he navigated newly treacherous terrain.

Irving is one of a growing number of cities across America where immigration control, a federal prerogative, is reshaping politics at the other end of the spectrum, the local level, in the absence of a national policy overhaul. To watch its experiment play out over the better part of the past year in City Hall and in its residents’ lives is to see how difficult political moderation has become in the debate over what to do with the country’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

According to Mayor Herb Gears:

“I let my instincts rule the moment in that instance,” he said. “What weighed heavily in my thoughts is that if we didn’t do something, a lot more immigrants were going to be hurt.”

“And now,” Mr. Gears added ruefully, “I’m the hero of every redneck in America.”

He calls his ‘red circles’ ‘crankies:’

We defeated the crankies, and no one thought we could,” Mr. Gears said of his re-election. “We’ve defined what our responsibility is, and that’s only to allow the federal government to do its job. It’s not our responsibility to evaluate it or assess whether it’s good or not.”

Still, he is not totally comfortable with the position he feels he must take.  He sounds like quite a character-a tough man with a good heart.  Check out the story of Irving, Texas and its mayor, Herb Gears.  Most of us will be able to identify with this town and its people.  Is Irving our sister city? 



T.C. Williams, City of Manassas Have High Drop Out Rates

High school drop out rates have been growing by leaps and bounds, to the point of being called a national epidemic. Exactly what is the cost of dropping out of high school? According to the video captured from the Washington Post, dropping out is a million dollar mistake.

In an era when having a diploma is a bare minimum; many of our young people are selling themselves real short very early in the game. As budgets are finalized, it seems prudent that these stark, staggering statistics should be in the back of everyone’s mind.

Earlier in the week I put up a thread about Hispanic high drop out rates, much to the chagrin of at least one ‘regular’ here. I was accused of quoting some pro-Hispanic groups. Truthfully, I was gathering my information from the VA Dept. of Education. I would say that is a fairly ethnically neutral agency. It’s their job to disaggregate data.

So without apology, here is part 2 of the drop out phenomena. What I didn’t know earlier in the week is that City of Manassas has an even higher drop out rate than Prince William County. Critics will be happy to know that this video does not break down data by ethnicity. It speaks about all kids.

Pardon the mini-mercial.

Surely with statistics like these, right here in our own backyard, we should be rethinking the ‘business as usual’ for high school students. Will everyone go to college? Should everyone go to college? What is being done educationally for those who probably have no intentions of going to college, at least not right after high school? What kinds of job training can a high school student get? Should it be the job of public schools to prepare students for jobs out of high school? If not, where will the student aquire those skills?

A Week of Crime in PWC

This week has been a crime filled one here in Prince William County. We generally do not cover crime on this blog. The newspapers usually handle things adequately. If there is the slightest of chances that the perpetrator might be an illegal immigrant, the dark screen is all over it.

However, in light of the fact that our esteemed chairman of the BOCS has publicly stated that violent crime is down by 20% (even though murder is up and rape is unchanged), and that passing the Resolution helped make this happen, we thought we should illuminate a few cases that indicate Mr. Stewart’s announcement might be somewhat misleading. Earlier this week, the News and Messenger reported the following regarding the 2008 PWC Crime statistics:

Stewart, a Republican, hailed the drop in violent crime as a victory for Prince William’s tough stance against illegal immigration. Since July 2008, county police have been required to determine the immigration status of anyone taken into custody.

Of the 1,802 people arrested last year for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, or car theft, 63 were in America illegally.

Only five illegal immigrants were charged with violent crimes, though: one with rape and four with aggravated assault.

So how does the county know its tough stance has worked? The arrest numbers for violent acts are small.

“My response is: exactly,” Stewart said.

Illegal immigrants, concerned about being discovered, may have left the county when they heard they could be deported if they committed a crime, he said.

Or, by deporting an illegal convicted of a lesser offense, authorities can prevent a future, more vicious crime, Stewart said.

“If you’re going to get into trouble, Prince William County is the last place you want to be as an illegal immigrant,” he said.

So much for statistics. Mid-week, there was an armored car heist. Three men, wearing black and white Halloween masks held up a Loomis armored car at gun point. The Loomis employees were not injured. Eventually the three were apprehended after a tip from a senior citizen.

As if this wasn’t enough excitement, yesterday an officer attempted to pull over a suspected drunk driver. The driver refused to stop, went on a rampage, and tried to mow her down with his vehicle. The officer was pinned between her car and the door. The driver went on to injure four others near Minnieville and Smoketown Roads. Despite being shot at twice, the suspect got away. He was apprehended today (Friday) around 9 a.m. A civilian pointed out a suspicious looking person riding a bicycle. The police flooded the area and even customers from Lowes got in the act by attempting to grab the suspect or ram his with shopping carts. (which seems rather minor after he attacked one of Prince William’s finest with a vehicle.)

Weapons were drawn again and the young man was apprehended.

According to the News and Messenger:

In addition to attempted capital murder, the teen faces charges of aggravated malicious wounding of a police officer, felony eluding police, felony hit and run and grand larceny auto, police said.

Interestingly enough, none of the perps in either of these cases of violent crime appear to be illegal immigrants. How will that fit in with Mr. Stewart’s statistics?