From News & Messenger:


Since the Board of County Supervisors’ controversial illegal immigration resolution was passed, thousands of illegals have left Prince William.

However, crime, for the most part, has not changed significantly.

So says a two-year study conducted by the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research and presented to supervisors Tuesday.

Originally passed in October 2007 and revamped in April 2008, the resolution states: “Officers shall investigate the citizenship or immigration status of all persons who are arrested for a violation of a state law or county ordinance when such arrest results in a physical custodial arrest.”

Overall crime — with the exception of a near 30 percent drop in aggravated assault cases — has not changed significantly since the resolution was adopted. Partly because of the police department’s efforts to quell robberies before the resolution, violent crime has been trending downward in the county for the past decade.

The News & Messenger  further reports:

On the other hand, based on several statistical analyses, the study showed between 2,000 and 6,000 illegal immigrants left Prince William after the resolution’s approval.

From 2006 to 2009, the Hispanic population (which accounts for nearly three-fourths of all non-citizens in the county) increased 18.8 percent in Northern Virginia but just 3.6 percent in Prince William

I am fairly flummoxed by the report on the report, found in Then I read the Washington Post report and it took a similar stance:

The county’s police and elected officials requested the study to look at the implementation and effects of a policy – adopted in 2007 and modified in 2008 – that requires police officers to check the immigration status of all people arrested on suspicion of violating state or federal law.

The original policy directed officers to check the immigration status of people only if there was probable cause to believe that they were in the country illegally.

The study indicates that some changes in the Hispanic population can be attributed to the policy, but the researchers make it clear that the policy’s implementation coincided with the economic downturn, the mortgage crisis and the decline of the construction industry.

Because of those factors and others – for instance, the county’s having modified its policy to be less controversial and the county’s having a well-funded police department – the lessons of Prince William’s experience should be applied with “great caution” in other places and other times, said Thomas Guterbock, director of U-Va.’s Center for Survey Research.

Walking away, it looks like there was a great deal of angst and money spent.  Perhaps now I see why the great rush to vote on attaching the Prince William model to the legislative package to the state.  See bold above.  Lucy once again pulls the football out from under Charlie Brown.  Tsk Tsk.  They were warned.  Did Frank and Marty know something the others didn’t? 

Perhaps the best move would be to take our report, cut our losses, thank our lucky stars that cooler heads prevailed in 2008, hope our house values return, encourage businesses to come to the county, and move on.  Perhaps we shouldn’t advise others to do what we did here in Prince William.  But of course, it was all about an election.  And unless leopards have changed their spots, todays legislative action was all about an election also, we just aren’t sure which one. 

Just out of curiosity, does this now mean that Corey can work on his Virginia Rule of Law Campaign on company time using company employees?


32 Thoughts to “News & Messenger says Study: Prince William policy drove away illegal immigrants”

  1. Starryflights

    Sounds like the economic downturn had more to do with the exodus of illegal aliens than the Rule of Law thing. A lot of people, not just illegal aliesn or Hispanics, left PWC starting around 2007. Further, all the tension and headlines over the issue probably discouraged others from moving here. That’s not good at all for any community.

  2. Alanna

    I haven’t had a chance to read the report. But from what I have seen, it’s very much a mixed bag, just like the interim report.

    Citizens should be concerned with the lack of transparency in the process. Citizens were denied access to documents that were available to County personnel. Supposedly, Supervisors and Citizens were to receive the report simultaneously. But if that were the case, how would the Chairman know to schedule a press conference a week in advance? Additionally his public comments on its contents prior to its release leads me to believe that citizens were intentionally misled.

    The other item that is bothersome to me is that Supervisors vote on items without giving citizens the opportunity to offer input. When you combine the withholding of documents and the unpublicized agenda items in which votes were taken doesn’t reflect good governance.

  3. Yesterday’s BOCS meeting reminded me of the opening scene in Flags of our Fathers. There was a whirlwind of confusion at best. The report droned on for over an hour, supervisors left the room for a press conference, business carried on, supervisors came back and the business halted, supervisors commented, and then the PWC model was attached to the legislative report.

    What really happened and what is its significance? Why did John Stirrup call for the question so quickly? It was obvious that our supervisors were blind-sided.

    Instead of putting a stop to the nonsense, all but 2 of them barreled forward, rather than stopping to access what was really going on. There was no reason to attach anything to our legislative package that moment. If something needed to be considered, it could wait for discussion.

    I am greatly disappointed in Mike May, Maureen Caddigan, John Jenkins, John Stirrup, Wally Covington for caving in to this kind of pressure that once again is instant gratification on the part of Corey Stewart.

    What are they afraid of? Why can’t they just tell this guy NO. There was no urgency. Stewart was after something. That was perfectly obvioius by the lack of transparency and the fact there was no time for citizen input.

  4. Elena

    So, we spent how much money to chase out MAYBE 6,000 people? I keep forgetting to ask Corey why he doesn’t want to claim any credit for our outlier massive forclosure rate? Hey, if you’re gonna brag about chasing people away, people who clearly MUST have LIVED somewhere, you have to take responsiblity for it all don’t you?

    1. @ Elena,

      How many of those ‘chased out’ would have left anyway? Young men, aged 20-29, probably no local roots. Many of those young men follow the jobs.

  5. While working in a mortgage trustee law firm, I noticed that a lot of foreclosures were happening to people will spanish surnames in PWC. And that many of those were deeds of trust to either single men, or two men, not a man and wife. Further research showed that many of the foreclosures were happening on “refinancings” that occurred just after the peak of the bubble. Apparently, these people were re-financing, taking the equity in cash, and walking away with 50-100 grand. And it was consistently those DT’s that had spanish surnames.

    And it happened just as PWC was “chasing out” the illegal aliens, right when the new laws were taking effect. We had foreclosures from Fairfax and Arlington, too, but the majority of these sort came from PWC.

  6. Lafayette

    Cargo, nailed it!! I will go into details this evening. I’ve wrote about the multiple names on Deeds in PW, and don’t get me started on those ARM’s. Grrr!

  7. @Cargo, so what conclusions do we draw? Housing in PWC is much less expensive than in Fairfax.

    It stands to reason that is they were walking away with 50-100k then they had owned for several years and probably weren’t illegal immigrants.

    Did you notice that PWC was the foreclosure capital of Virginia also?

    Perfect storm.

  8. Alanna

    Here’s the thing. The report has to do with the enforcement aspect of the policy. It didn’t deal with economic aspects or an economic impact/benefit analysis. I still haven’t had time to read the entire report but let me suggest we just spent $12 MILLION with no identified cost savings.

  9. Secure Communities requires immigration status checks in the jails.

    The policy that remains in Prince William County after the repeal of the “probable cause” mandate requires status checks at the magistrate, after custodial arrest.

    It has been impossible since the beginning of all this (July 10,2007) to really get the county to give a us a dollar amount of how much was spent on implementing the probably cause version of the policy/law. How much did it also cost in staff time to do studies, investigate what could and could not be implemented, answer the many FOIA requests that arose? How much did training cost? Those are all hidden costs that were probably never logged.

    Then there are the costs of real county business being postponed while staff jumped through hoops to appease the BOCS. And finally, how much did this debacle cost the county in terms of house devaluation and loss of business. These figures will never be uncovered either.

    All to end up with an Obama administration plan. Make sure you watch Mike Methmon admit, on video, that it was all about an election and people wanting to remove themselves from George Bush. He named who called and who wrote the first draft. Now is he a liar, or are others?

  10. Confuse and obfuscate…that is how the county has operated all along. Even talking to supervisors since July 2007, many of them are confused as to what really went on.

    Yesterday was no exception. Confuse and obfuscate was the order of the day. Does anyone really know, other than the chairman, what was attached to the legislative package?

    Shame on those supervisors who voted yes, like sheep, before finding out what was really going on. Why didn’t they table the vote until they could find out. Why do they keep letting this guy make them look like fools?

    I think we just gave Corey the keys to the church so he can use county resources (paper clips, people, etc) to advance his Virginia Rule of Law Campaign. What will it get him? From what I have read, he might try for state office of US Senate.

  11. Alanna

    9.4. The Policy Would Be Challenging to Implement on a Large Scale
    The policy casts a broad net: Over 76% of the illegal immigrants who were arrested in the first eight months of the policy’s implementation were initially charged with one of three offenses: public drunkenness; driving without an operator’s license; and driving under the influence. One implication of the fact that most of the people arrested under the policy were not serious offenders is that the policy is not a viable solution for other communities wishing to address their local illegal immigration problems.
    Both ICE and the police department have indicated that they were most interested in capturing serious criminals who were in the county illegally. ICE personnel reported that the agency was struggling with the resources needed to detain those turned over to it. Overall, ICE does not have the resources to enter into the type of agreement it has with PWC on a larger scale.

  12. Alanna

    emphasis mine….

  13. Starryflights

    Cargosquid :While working in a mortgage trustee law firm, I noticed that a lot of foreclosures were happening to people will spanish surnames in PWC. And that many of those were deeds of trust to either single men, or two men, not a man and wife. Further research showed that many of the foreclosures were happening on “refinancings” that occurred just after the peak of the bubble. Apparently, these people were re-financing, taking the equity in cash, and walking away with 50-100 grand. And it was consistently those DT’s that had spanish surnames.
    And it happened just as PWC was “chasing out” the illegal aliens, right when the new laws were taking effect. We had foreclosures from Fairfax and Arlington, too, but the majority of these sort came from PWC.

    What law firm did you work for, Cardo? Do you think they would appreciate your discussing such sensitive information on a public website? Or are you just lying about what you said you did?

  14. Alanna

    Crime and arrest statistics reported by PWCPD do not, on the whole, show reductions that might be associated with the immigration policy, but they do show that serious violence, particularly aggravated assault, has dropped sharply in recent years. Considering that illegal immigrants account for only 3% of offenders currently arrested for aggravated assault, it seems unlikely that the policy was a major cause behind this trend, but it could have been a contributor.Finally, the views of officers, as measured in interviews and surveys, are somewhat mixed. Most feel that the policy has been effective in controlling crime and disorder related to illegal immigrants, but they are split as to whether the policy has reduced crime overall, and their general view is that immigrants do not contribute heavily to serious crime in PWC.

    [Ed. Note: First bold by Moon-howler. It is important to note that the Chairman is contradicting the report and saying that it conclusively attributes the decline in aggrevated assault to immigrants leaving.]

    1. @Alanna, does it show that aggrevated assault dropped or does it show that reporting aggrevated assault dropped. Most domestic violence is classified as aggrevated assault. Domestic violence is known for being under reported.

      You also find that aggrevated assault reports go down in college towns when the students go home for the summer. There’s just something about young men, especially young men and booze that drives those aggrevated assault charges up.

  15. Starry, I think Cargo is fine. He didn’t name his company and he did that kind of work. I will vouch for him even though I don’t feel I need to.

  16. Starryflights

    Very good point, Alanna.

  17. Starryflights

    Moon-howler :Starry, I think Cargo is fine. He didn’t name his company and he did that kind of work. I will vouch for him even though I don’t feel I need to.

    Which law firm did he work for? I used to work for one as well, and I’d probably be fired for discussing sensitive information about their clients on a public website.

    1. @starry, I don’t think he still works for them and I wouldn’t want that posted on the blog anyway. If you 2 want to exchange email addresses I will facilitate.

  18. Censored bybvbl

    As a juror, I saw several incidences of straw buyers and mortgage fraud. A person didn’t have to hold a property for long – just have a willing buyer and a bank willing to lend on an inflated price.

  19. Lafayette

    What makes you think Cargo would be fired for stating his observations? Furthremore, if you truly thought that, then why ask for the firm’s name? Are you trolling or baiting? I will tell you as a title examiner that everything he spoke of is all of PUBLIC RECORD. You’ve been around the blogs long enough to that by now. I’ve been writing about the creative lending and the foreclosures in PWC for almost four years. Quite frankly, where one works or has worked is really NONE of your or anybody’s business.

    As promised I’ll be writing more on the foreclosures. And DON’T you dare dream of asking me where I work!!

  20. @Moon-howler
    These were homes that were owned for less than five years and refinanced as soon as the equity went up. Remember, at that time, houses were appreciating at 20% or more. These were $200 – $300,000 houses.

    Anecdotal evidence that I heard from the lawyers involved said that as many as 10 men would buy a house, put one or two names on the deed, and then refinance before leaving. And walk away with a nice chunk of change.

  21. Starry, hmmm, what sensitive info is that? Public records shows the exact same information. No names and no addresses mentioned? Also, I didn’t talk about the CLIENTS. I talked about the (alleged) crooks that knowing refinanced knowing that they were going to walk away. The clients were the banks……..remember? If you actually worked for a trustee firm, I figure you’d remember THAT little detail……..

    Guys, thanks for defending me. But really….. are squirrel attacks that dangerous?

  22. Wolverine

    Alanna — An awfully lot of that is in the definition of a “serious” crime. When a police officer looks at serious crime he is talking about murder, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, vicious assaults and the like. But when the average citizen gets hit by a less than “serious” crime (by official definition) the view from their angle becomes a bit different. Around here, one of the real crosses people bear is coming out of the house in the morning and finding their car window punched out and the GPS and stereo and whatever else of value might have been in there gone. (You try to tell people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, but I have decided that a lot of Americans are hard of hearing.) Another nice morning surprise is to come out and find your car tires slashed or your property, car or building, otherwise vandalized. Over the past several years on early morning patrols, our NW has had occasion to interrupt and chase off the “scouts” looking into cars for valuables and, on one occasion, a chap about to steal a car. One of our neighbors chased off a group that was in the process of jacking up a sporty little coupe to steal the tires — right in front of the home of the owner.

    These are some of the hardest crimes for the police to solve unless there has actually been a witness with sufficient identification observations to help track down the perps. It is exceedingly rare when a victim in such a crime gets any satisfaction or a return of property from this kind of crime, unless the police happen to come upon an abode where loot is stashed and identifiable as to the owners (Mark your valuables, people!!!). Even if there is reimbursement through insurance, this lack of case resolution leaves the citizenry feeling very vulnerable and somewhat helpless, and, in my estimation, may be as large a factor in a backlash as the less frequent officially “serious” crimes.

    I can give you a good example of how this does or does not work. We had a couple of vehicles seriously vandalized in the early morning hours. The police had no leads or clues. They could not get anything from the owners other than guesses and conjecture. That case would have been another one for the cold case files — except that a person who had seen it all and was afraid to talk to the police lest his name became involved came to NW in the dark of night and told us the whole story. NW had to serve as the liaison with the police — with a witness anonymity which our police scrupulously respect around here. It changed the course of the investigation.

    Now, I am going to be very blunt here. I do not have to explain once again how I operate personally on a code of bad behavior and not race or ethnicity. But I will say to you that in the cases in my patrol area in which I have been able to ascertain details about the perp or perps, the heavy majority have been “new immigrants” — some suspected gangbangers and gangbanger wannna-be’s but also many with just plain criminal intent. That includes all the specific cases I have described above. That is someting I do not like seeing because I hate like Hell to label groups, but I cannot deny what I see and learn. It also happens that many of the more “serious” crimes in this particular neck of the woods happen to have been been perpetrated by people with the same ethnicity (some caught and some still on the lam) — rapes, attempted rapes, drive-by shootings, several vicious knife and gun assaults, and a couple of murders. Not everything mind you, and this from someone who keeps a sharp eye on the police reports. For instance, the bulk of armed robberies around here, especially banks, have been committed by Whites and Blacks, as have many of the instances of sexual exposure and attempts to lure children. On the other hand, every last prostitution case or suspected prostitution case, whether in situ or through delivery to the client, in which I have been involved has entailed the participation of “new immigrants.” In the matter of illegal drugs, you can take your pick — everybody is involved.

    From where I sit, there is no getting around this. It exists. Which is why I am so darned happy that my NW patrols are becoming less and less active. Maybe we have succeeded in chasing off the bad lot and maybe it is the good lot that largely remains. I like to think that because, by my own tally, I still have a 36-40 % population of those “new immigrants” in my patrol area and far less crime. Also far less street crime perpetrated against those “new immigrants” who remain with us — which ain’t half bad in my book. It looks to me like we have made a start at rebuilding a multi-ethnic community composed of good neighbors who happen to have a variety of accents and skin colors.

  23. Wolverine, I think all of us want people to behave themselves. We all support our 287G program. We want criminals off the street also. Your community stuck their necks out to achieve quality of life issues, it sounds like. You didn’t allow what happened in PW to happen in your community. Your resources went directly to the neighborhoods. You all didn’t spend millions. We did.

  24. As for the mortgage issue, I saw families lose their home in my neighborhood. I guess all different sorts of people walked away. Some with big bucks and some with absolutely nothing. My neighbor recently lost his home. He tried his best to do the right thing and he was a good neighbor, even though he took in renters. He was a good person.

    Many immigrants got flummoxed into thinking they could afford a house by taking in renters. Unscrupulous realtors encouraged this practice.

  25. Wolverine

    Moon, you hit on a key point in that last sentence of #28. Realtors. I’ve seen some doozies in the past half-decade mixed in with the great majority of good and honest ones. Those doozies invariably failed to make the immigrant purchasers understand that they were moving into a covenanted community with a whole passle of rules and regulations. At one point, the HOA management was in danger of being overwhelmed by all these shenanigans. There were times on patrol when I was approached by these new owners, who were totally perplexed by the existence of rules and regulations, and I am out on the street trying to explain some of the stuff in Spanglish.

    But I would add another villain to this scenario: property investors. Some of these people buy up houses on the cheap, rent them out without the least circumspection as to their tenants, and then make themselves mighty scarce when the proverbial s**t hits the fan. Investors who appear not to give a crap about anything but the monthly rent check arriving on time. They get so bad that, in spite of being obliged to place leases on file with the HOA, they soon lose track of who is living on their own property as the anonymous sub-lessees start to pour in. NW knows better than they do the census on their property and sometimes has to make them aware of what the real score is via the HOA. And I will tell you something else: although some of these “investors” are Hispanic immigrants themselves, a very large number of them are American citizens or legal, non-Hispanic immigrants out to make an easy buck. There are times when I have been tempted to send some of these yoyos a bill for my services as their “property manager.” In some ways this whole mess has been a multi-ethnic mess with Joe American right there in the mix.

  26. Starryflights

    Cargo made the following claim:

    Cargosquid :While working in a mortgage trustee law firm, I noticed that a lot of foreclosures were happening to people will spanish surnames in PWC. And that many of those were deeds of trust to either single men, or two men, not a man and wife. Further research showed that many of the foreclosures were happening on “refinancings” that occurred just after the peak of the bubble. Apparently, these people were re-financing, taking the equity in cash, and walking away with 50-100 grand. And it was consistently those DT’s that had spanish surnames.

    Please provide a list of the deeds of trust that had spanish surnames in order to support your claim. Since these are public records, you should have no concerns about revealing anything confidential. Thank you.

  27. Lafayette

    Take your sorry a$$ to any Record Room in any courthouse in the No.Va. area to see exactly what Cargo spoke of. You live in PW, right? I suggest you take a field trip to the third floor of the courthouse in Manassas. Pick some addresses in the hot zip codes(20109 & 22191) look up the deeds/mortgages and you’ll see what Cargo was speaking of, is in fact true. And if you are too lazy to go to the courthouse to the research yourself, you can look at the owners’ names on addresses in PWC. You can search by subdivision name or address. Then click on transfer to see some of the names. There’s not always enough room to enter all of the owners. Do your own efing homework!!! I look forward to reading your findings after taking a look at “land rover”.

    I know you don’t need defending. It’s more about making the fact known that it is all of public record. I don’t think most people realize how much is of public record in our courthouses. I see plenty of “Q’s” coming in daily to snoop on their neighbors. I’m sure you’ve seen the same over the years in your neck of the woods.

  28. Look! A squirrel!

    Starry, sometimes you have something to say that’s actually worth reading. That last statement was idiotic. Like I’m going to have that list memorized or would have it even if I still worked there. You don’t want to believe me, fine. I’m not worried about revealing any information. Its that I don’t have a list.

    Of course, YOU probably memorized every little thing that you worked on, right?

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