PWC Rule of Law Resolution Working?

If you follow the illegal immigration issue at all in Virginia, you are probably familiar with Prince William County’s actions on the issue. In 2007 the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution that increased the locality’s participation in the 287(g) program that allows local officers to begin ICE proceedings, question the status of suspected illegal aliens when they are suspected of violating a local or state law, and prohibiting illegal immigrants from using certain public services. At the time the resolution sparked a firestorm of controversy, and parts of the resolution were eventually rolled back. However, it inspired a number of localities, including Shenandoah County, to investigate their own solutions. Ultimately, Shenandoah County erred on the side of caution, fearing the possibility of becoming mired in legal challenges, and only passed a supporting resolution–however, the Sheriff’s department fully cooperates with the ICE program. 

The issue is still developing, but it appears that Prince William is beginning to see some real results. From Black Velvet Bruce Li:

Today at 2:00PM Prince William County will announce that violent crimes decreased by a whopping 22% in 2007, demonstrating once again the value of protecting the quality of life by having local law enforcement participate in federal efforts to reduce the number of illegal aliens unlawfully present in our communities.  The previous year, more than half of all murders in the county were committed by illegal aliens.  By encouraging illegal aliens to depart, and ensuring that those who do not and are arrested for state and local crimes are turned over to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, we’ve addressed to some degree an important public safety issue that few states and localities have the courage to even consider, much to the detriment of their own residents. 

Additionally, word is coming out that gang activity is down slightly in the community as well. Anecdotal evidence abounds as well:

Here’s another fact that seems to have escaped the recent reports from the county police department.  In 2007, five of the nine murders in the county were committed by illegal aliens, and a number of the perpetrators had connections with the MS-13 gang.  This year, there have been zero murders committed by an identified illegal alien.  So while five people lost their lives in violent crimes committed by people who shouldn’t be here in the first place in 2007, none lost their lives to persons who shouldn’t be here in 2008.  

With word coming that President Obama is likely to pursue comprehensive immigration reform and economic pressures on the forefront of people’s minds, I think this issue is about to come back in a big way, possibly in a way that profoundly impacts the 2009 Gubernatorial election. It will be up to states to serve as policy laboratories for ideas that actually enforce the law.

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