From News & Messenger:
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. —
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 Insidenova.com. 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?