Its about time someone in the media gets the story straight. 

Someone GETS it!  A big thanks to Media Mattersfor pointing out what has been saying all along.

Copied in its entirety from

On Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy and guest Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County, Virginia, board of supervisors, falsely claimed that the county’s controversial immigration law reduced violent crime and has never been altered. In fact, Prince William County’s violent crime rates actually increased in 2009; the law was modified in 2008 to avoid legal challenges; and a University of Virginia study of the law shows that it has not led to a reduction in crime.

Doocy falsely claimed immigration law led to a “reduction in violent crimes” and an overall “huge drop in crime”

Doocy falsely claims immigration law led to “38 percent reduction in violent crimes.” On the June 21 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Doocy introduced Stewart by claiming, “Three years ago, Prince William County in Virginia passed major immigration reform, and they’ve since seen a huge drop in crime.” Doocy later said to Stewart, “Let’s take a look at some of the changes in Prince William County since this law went into place — 38 percent reduction in violent crimes.” The law in question requires police officers to inquire about the immigration status of those persons who have been placed under arrest.

In fact, Prince William County’s violent crime rate increased 10.9 percent in 2009. According to Prince William County Police Department crime statistics, in 2009, the county saw a 10.9 percent increase in violent crimes. The county’s “overall crime rate” decreased by 1.9 percent from the previous year. The law first went into effect in 2008, during which time the county saw an increase in its overall crime rate and a reduction in violent crimes versus the year prior.

Prince William County’s 2009 overall lowered crime rate is credited as being “part of a trend that started long before” the immigration bill. In a National Review Online post, John J. Miller wrote: “As it happens, crime rates have been going down for a long time in Prince William County. The latest numbers are part of a trend that started long before the county took a stand against illegal immigration.” Prince William County Police Chief Charlie T. Deane reportedly noted that crime rates have been decreasing nationwide and that Prince William County’s rates were consistent with that trend. According to The Washington Post, Deane said, ” ‘I also think, nationwide, crime rates are declining, and I’m pleased we’ve continued to see’ that in the county, too.”

“Illegal aliens” only account for a small percentage of crimes and arrests, and the vast majority of those arrested were for “misdemeanor or traffic charges.” The reports show that those suspected of being “illegal aliens” account for only a small percentage of total crimes. In 2008, “[o]f all persons arrested or summonsed in Prince William County, 1.7% were determined to lack legal status,” while “86.9% of those suspected to be illegal aliens were arrested on misdemeanor or traffic charges.” In 2009, “[o]f all persons arrested or summonsed in Prince William County, 2.2% were determined to lack legal status,” while “87.5% of those suspected to be illegal aliens were arrested on misdemeanor or traffic charges.”

UVA study: “[T]he policy has not reduced most forms of crime in PWC.” The University of Virginia (UVA) studied the effects of the law on Prince William County crime rates and concluded, “Overall, our descriptive assessment of PWCPD data on crime reports and arrests suggests that the policy has not reduced most forms of crime in PWC and that its contribution to the County’s drop in serious violence has likely been modest.” A May 7 Washington Post article cited the UVA study and reported that “the study also said that it seems unlikely that the county’s drop in violent crime was because of the policy, because illegal immigrants make up a small percentage of those arrested for such crimes.”

Doocy lets guest falsely claim that the “law stands today as it was written in 2007”

Doocy allows Stewart to falsely claim that the “law stands today as it was written in 2007.” After Doocy asked Stewart about legal challenges to the law, Stewart falsely claimed that “the federal district court in Arlington, Virginia, threw [a court challenge to the bill] out on its face — threw the challenge out on its face — and the law stands today as it was written in 2007.” 

In fact, the “ordinance was modified in 2008 amid charges that it was unconstitutional.” Contrary to Stewart’s claim that “the law stands today as it was written in 2007,” The Washington Post reported:

The Prince William ordinance was modified in 2008 amid charges that it was unconstitutional and could lead to racial profiling. In the end, rather than questioning only people they suspected of being undocumented immigrants, officers were directed to question all criminal suspects about their immigration status once an arrest was made.

— J.V.B

31 Thoughts to “Doocy advances false claim that VA county immigration law lowered crime rates”

  1. I am uncomfortable with any of these statistics being used one way or the other to prove anything about illegal immigration.

    Mark Twain comes in handy:
    Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

    A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

  2. Elena

    Excellent article!

  3. Pendleton

    So what was the UVA study for? Is that routine?

  4. Elena


    No, it was specific for the resolution fall out.

  5. Wolverine

    PWC’s violent crime rate INCREASED by 10.9% in 2009? Ahem, Chief Deane………

  6. Wolverine

    Looks to me like this argument may have a double-edged sword in it. In December 2009, the FBI released an interim report showing that violent crime (murder, forcible rape, robberies, aggravated assault) decreased by 4.4% in the U.S., including a 6.1% decrease in the South. Now you are telling me that violent crime in PWC went UP by 10.9% in 2009? Just sayin’…. those of you who seem to have some psychological “love affair” with Chief Charlie Deane might want to ponder these comparative statistics.

  7. Elena

    We had several high profile murders in PWC, the Smith tragedy, the little girl Lexie Glover, a drive by shooting, a car jacking (Perps were from PWC). NONE were found to be undocumented immigrants.

  8. Wolverine, I am not arguing that these stats prove anything. In fact, I am not comfortable and said so. However, the decrease in crime over 15 years is trendable and a measurable result in fulfilling goals of the PWC police dept. (targeting high crime areas, hiring more officers, etc)

    We are not the ones arguing that illegal immigration has increased or decreased the crime statistics. That’s Corey’s baby and he is wrong.

    If we are going to blame the Police Chief for a home invasion gone bad double murder then I am afraid I can’t continue this conversation. The crime was solved and the perp was put away. Case closed.

    Wolverine, you know that we are not using statistics to prove points. We are saying you cannot use them. Be fair. You usually are.

    I am just saying someone finally gets it that Corey is twisting stats and facts.

  9. Wolverine

    Moon, I am saying that, when the general trend on violent crime is downward throughout the country and in your region and the violent crime rate in your own community takes a marked flight upwards at the same time, you had better look again at the kind of law enforcement you have going for you. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Examination of your own level of crime with others when such an unflattering disparity exists is only professional common sense. If the stats are just the opposite, you give your local law enforcement a big pat on the back and a vote of confidence. Crime generally goes where crime is easier to get away with.

  10. Rape and murder are not trendable, according to criminologists. I don’t know if other areas experienced the same type of elevation or not.

    Prince William County had shifting demagraphics, a huge foreclosure rate, (largest in Virginia) and thousands of houses vacant at a time.

    I am concerned that our rape rate jumped by over a hundred percent. Do I blame the cops? No. I blame rapists. I would say a one year outlier could be caused by anything. The one thing you can count on though is that Chief Deane has his people all over it, gathering facts and stats and looking for ways to reverse whatever it is. Crime prevention is only one component. Equally important is closure.

    What I don’t like is some politician using crime stats to get elected. To start affixing cause and effect to a one year crime stat makes as much sense as hypothesizing that crime was up because our cops were too busy chasing illegal aliens all over the county.

  11. Wolverine

    Elena, we had two vicious rapes of elderly women here, both committed by an illegal immigrant. We had a very high profile beating death of a local citizen and the rape of his wife on a public street. Gangbangers . A couple of drive-by shootings. Gangbangers. Two murders in the shopping center. One by an illegal immigrant since disappeared. The other by the child of illegal immigrants (Committed suicide after killing two people. He was, in fact, one of Mrs. W’s former students. Mrs. W was also acquainted with the Hispanic girlfriend he killed out of jealousy, along with her then beau, also murdered — right in broad daylight in front of our most popular supermarket). We have also had several knifings, usually Hispanic on Hispanic. Homestead Suites not a couple of miles from my location has been robbed three times in the past several weeks. The perp is described as Hispanic.

    As a activist member of Neighborhood Watch, I keep a constant eye on the crime reports and the wanted posters. Many, many contain Hispanic names when arrests are made or a request is made for citizens to keep an eye out for a particular identified Hispanic. Not all of them, mind you. We also have our criminals of other ethnicities, including Whites. I refuse to classify one race as more criminally inclined than another. But when you have a very high proflie in terms of numbers of a particular ethnic group and you see that group often in the police reports, you certainly pay attention. I have personally been eyeball-to-eyeball on the street with gangbangers, pimps, bordello personnel, document forgers, car thieves, car break-in artists — all Hispanic but illegal or legal, I didn’t always know. I do my darndest out of personal and professional habit not to label groups and will continue to do so; but I cannot deny what I see in front of me.

  12. Starryflights

    Wolf, you need to take your examples to Corey Stewart who is taking credit for his resolution decreasing violent crimes in PWC.

    Even Greg Letiecq and the BVBL crew are acknowledging that the Rule of Law resolution has failed and that Stewart is a liar.

  13. Ken Anderson

    Don’t blame Chief Deane for violent crime rate going up in 2009. It simply means that crimes that went unreported in 2008 were being reported again in 2009. In 2008 the Citizen Satisfaction survey showed that African Americans and Hispanics were considerably less confident that the Police Department would administer the law fairly to all persons regardless of race or ethnicity. That is what accounts for the dip in reported assaults during 2008. If you’re a woman who’s husband is abusive, but your parents are sleeping upstairs without legal status, you just cover the bruises with make-up.

    Unreported crimes are still crimes. We just don’t know about them. I feel safer now that that the Corey Crackdown has been repealed (even though he won’t admit it) and people trust the police enough to call them if they need them.

  14. Second-Alamo

    Who gives a hoot about statistics. If PWC went from 1 murder in 2008 to 2 murders in 2009 that would be a 100% increase in one year. That would look shocking based on statistics! Common sense should tell you that violent crime is greater in communities with a large lower socio-economic population. Therefore, with more illegal aliens comes more violent crime. NO, they aren’t all here just to earn an honest living. There are those who are here to flee the ‘short’ arm of the law south of the border. That’s the problem, without knowing who these people are we are jeopardizing the well-being of our communities. Papers please!

  15. Second-Alamo

    Problem is that today PC has replaced common sense!

  16. Starryflights

    Aside from that, the

    Second-Alamo :Who gives a hoot about statistics.

    Corey Stewart

  17. Before everyone jumps on SA, some of what he is saying makes sense. Higher crime rates do go hand and hand with poverty and high density living. Additionally, when we have large numbers of people we don’t know living around us, we feel less secure.

    I don’t think any of us would argue that point…however, when we direct it at one group of people, well…probably not so good. We can all think of some communities around here that we wouldn’t feel very comfortable strolling through. It isn’t just because of hispanics either!

    And maybe we should ask ourselves, SA, if PC has replaced common sense or if there are just some things we better not discuss in public? Do we have too many sacred cows? I grew up on a good healthy dose of the expression ‘poor white trash.’ To be exact, my folks all said ‘po’ white trash’ and the contraction of po’ was intentional. Daily. That was what I wasn’t supposed to act like. My mother said it, my grandmother said it, and caregivers said it (and God forbid that anyone in the south have a white caregiver).

    You can’t say ‘Poor white trash’ nowadays. The PC hounds of hell are all over you. Even when I was a kid, northern people abbreviated and said PWT. (my mother told me she didn’t know what that meant.)

    SA, I am going to agree with you with a caveat. It isn’t just Hispanics. In fact, I would say that they are the most vulnerable as far as the PC police go. And papers aren’t going to make one bit of difference in this case. Poverty and high density cross all document lines.

  18. whatever

    Illegal aliens were responsible for five of the nine murders in Prince William County in 2007. Whats the rate now? I think it is ZERO!

  19. And there are probably still illegal immigrants in Prince William County.

    The murders in 2007 involved a family rampage as I recall. Very tragic.

    So where is it you want us to go with your hypothesis? That big ZERO isn’t telling us much.

    Are we to believe that in 2008, 2009 no illegal immigrants lived in Prince William? Statistics indicate that no illegal immigrants were arrested for murder during those years.

  20. Welcome Ken Anderson. You make some interesting suggestions.

    You are most correct. Unreported crimes are still crimes.

  21. Starryflights

    Wolverine :Elena, we had two vicious rapes of elderly women here, both committed by an illegal immigrant. We had a very high profile beating death of a local citizen and the rape of his wife on a public street. Gangbangers . A couple of drive-by shootings. Gangbangers. Two murders in the shopping center. P>

    whatever : Whats the rate now? I think it is ZERO!

    Well one of you guys is wrong.

  22. @starry, Wolverine and Whatever do not live in the same jurisdiction. In fact, neither live in PWC.

  23. whatever

    And that would mean what, Moonhowler? That I don’t know what is going on around me? Those murders committed by illegal’s were not in one family and even if it was it doesn’t make it any better.

    How do you know where I live? Just maybe I used to live in the good ‘ole PWC. How ’bout that?

  24. IP addresses tell me a lot, especially when they match up with old names.

    As for what’s going on around you, Whatever, I don’t know. You tell me.

    Actually I was telling starry that you don’t live in the same jurisdiction Wolverine does.

    Therefore, one could conclude your statements aren’t conflicting.

  25. Now as for those murders….I am checking on those. I never said the murdered were all in one family.

    I said an illegal immigrant went on a rampage. (thus creating a multiple murder.) I believe there were 3 victims in the incident I recall.

    No it does not make it a bit better or worse actually. The victims are dead regardless of the status of the perp.

  26. Wolverine

    We have never had a “Resolution” in Loudoun. In fact, for a long time our elected sheriff dragged his feet even on joining the 287g program and refused to admit that the gangbangers consisted very often of illegal immigrants or the children of illegal immigrants, despite a multiplicity of stats contrary to his position on the issue. He was denying what we could see on our own streets. Moreover, our current BOS, in one of its very first official acts, overturned a measure by the previous BOS ensuring that county contractors hired only legal workers. We were beginning to feel very isolated as crime rates rose to levels never before seen in our community and our quality of life took a nosedive. And we were constantly being fed the line that this was all a “federal problem” requiring federal solutions. Those became fighting words in this community.

    After the rapes of the elderly women (one Hispanic and the other White) and especially after another drive-by shooting on a residential street, this community exploded. A community meeting was held in the local high school presided over by the Chairman of the BOS and attended by four or five BOS members plus a wide range of county officials. It was a very hot seat on which those officials were placed that night. The community did not cry out for a “Resolution”, although several did fault the Chairman of the BOS for not having talked with your Chairman Stewart to get an idea of what was being done in PWC. What the community was really demanding was for the sheriff and the county government to wake up and start doing the security and zoning jobs for which they were being paid. It got so hot that the Sheriff had to leave the microphone and be replaced by one of his anti-gang task force members.

    The result of that meeting and subsequent meetings was renewed county attention to this community and other nearby trouble spots, with the supervisors for those areas, Democrat and Republican, doing much of the heavy pushing. Further community meetings were held for detailed problem discussions. Plans were drawn up for revamping the way county government, especially zoning officials, dealt with the problem areas. The first strike in our favor was a shift in policing emphasis, with the troubled communities seeing far more police patrols and far more aggressiveness by the police and with the NoVa Anti-Gang Task Force, in tandem with our own anti-gang unit, upping the pressure on the gangs to a point where they started to decamp for Maryland, where the authorities are major pussycats. The piece de resistance is the recent opening of a state-of-the-art Sheriff’s Office substation, where we now have 60-70 deputies permanently assigned and response times have improved beyond belief. Our deputies have been doing a top-notch job against crime in this area. Moreover, for the first time in history, the whole trouble area is blanketed with active Neighborhood Watch programs in almost seamless coverage. The crime rate has gone down. I see that in my own patrol area, where I am starting to deal more with quality of life issues than the reporting of felonious activity. Everone is beginning to feel safer, including those illegal immigrants not involved in criminal activity.

    Better police work and more communiity involvement with Neighborhood Watch plus greater county attention to zoning issues, including overcrowding, personal behavior ordinances, and even the taking over and restoring of delapidated homes, have all served to lower the tempers here. We are not yet where we want to be, but we are in a far better place than we were not more than a year or two ago. The key element here is that the community rose up against negligent authority at our micro-level, not unlike the way Arizonians have awakened at a state level vis-a-vis the federal government. You who do not live in the trouble spots sometimes seem not to understand the height to which tempers can flare among citizens and legal immigrants when their lives are turned upside down by crime and other adverse community conditions. For awhile there, this community I live in could only have been described as having reached the white-hot stage.

    Are there continuing problems? Yes, quite bluntly there are. We still have some street and property crime. We still have new immigrants who do not understand the standards of the community with regard to quality of life or who still violate those standards because they do not give a crap about anyone but themselves. Continued vigilance is necessary. That is why I am still out on the street at night.

    One of the problems we have is trying to decipher whether our own efforts were the primary key to success or whether a large part of the downturn in crime and quality of life violations resulted from immigrant departures because of a slipping economy. We are holding the line, but it is a very thin line, made even thinner by the negative economy and a large county-level budget problem. I can tell you this from my own observations. If this federal government does not open its eyes and respond to the clash in Arizona by doing a better job at securing our border and severely limiting the inflow of new illegal immigrants, we in our community could well be overwhelmed by an increased inflow if and when the economy improves. If that happens, I believe that what was once “white-hot” will go far beyond that. The tempers are still out there — just temporarily mollified by better local response.

  27. Starryflights

    I have heard conflcting claims from supporters of PWC’s Rule of Law Resolution. Some supporters, such as Mr. Stewart, claim that is succeeded. Others, including many BVBL bloggers, claims that is has failed. Which is it?

  28. Wolverine, you are sending a strong message, I believe.

    Starry, Mr. Stewart is claiming that something is successful that doesn’t even exist. The original ‘Stirrup Resolution’ was altered and changed several times as the BOCS decided what could and could not be done legally and what they could and could not afford.

    What was passed October 16, 2007, was changed from probable cause then to physical arrest in late April/early May of 2008. All people arrested for whatever reason (having nothing to do with immigration) would all be checked for status. (If I am arrested, my status is checked)

    Eliminating the probable cause component was something many of us associated with this blog wanted. Perhaps you have seen the video of Happy Alanna that night at the McCoart building.

    Corey Stewart has also said that probably cause would NOT be changed to physical arrest over his dead body. After it was, he and HSM changed their game face and said it strengthened the resolution and that is what they wanted all along.


    So no, it didn’t fail. It never got passed. It got neutered.

  29. There was a lot of face saving after all that. Corey and HSM has operated on confusion and people’s fears. They all hoped no one knew the difference between probably cause and physical arrest.

    Now, what did happen is …….from July 10, 2007 until Oct. 16, 2007 is rumor spread through the immigrant community like wild fire. Immigrants thought they would be hunted down at work, going to and from work, and not returned to their homes. On Oct 16, there was a marathon board of supervisors meeting which huge numbers of Latino families showed up to speak up against the Resolution. It might have gone from being the Stirrup Resolution to the Rule of Law Resolution by then. Hundreds of people, Latino and otherwise spoke at this meeting. Stewart spent over $30,000 sending out invitations to every household over a citizens time before the Resolution was to be voted on.

    The marathon citizens time meeting (it was NOT a public hearing) went on for 12-13 hours, far into the wee hours of the morning. At the end, the supervisors voted unanimously to approve the probable cause Resolution.

    Fear spread even further through the community. Some of this fear was built on failure to understand what had happened. In fairness, most people didn’t understand what had happened other than the citizens had won and the immigrants had lost. Very few really understood what really happened.

  30. So did immigrants leave? Yes. Why did they leave? Various reasons. Jobs were drying up, houses were going in to foreclosure, immigrants left for areas they deemed safer. I have personally heard people say that the fear factor, whether real or otherwise, made them get out of dodge, so to speak. Have people come back? Yes. Have new immigrants come back? yes. Are some of the illegal immigrants? Probably.

    Did the PWC Resolution work? Define ‘work.’

    It was the perfect storm. Economy crashed in PWC, housing crashed, new building was drying up. NO one will every be able to say with empirical evidence that the Resolution ran off the Latinos. No one will ever be able to say with empirical evidence that the Resolution caused the housing crash or made it worse in PWC.

    One can only ask why was it earlier here? Why was PWC the worst foreclosure area in the state? No empirical data. It will probably always be speculation.

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