Washington Post on Prince William County "Hounding Immigrants"

By: Lowell
Published On: 7/8/2007 9:03:56 AM

Today's Washington Post has an important editorial on "hounding immigrants" in Prince William County.  According to the Post, Prince William is "a booming jurisdiction where Hispanics, who registered scarcely 10 percent of the population in 2000, now approach 20 percent."  Now, "[p]rodded by angry constituents, the county Board of Supervisors looks set to adopt a resolution whose evident purpose is to harass illegal immigrants in hopes that they move elsewhere."

The editorial then describes how John T. Stirrup, Jr. (R-Gainesville), who is sponsoring that resolution, blames illegal immigrants for pretty much everything, from "economic hardship" to "lawlessness" (despite the fact that "prosecutors say most are law-abiding").  What next, immigrants cause the common cold and eat puppy dogs for breakfast?  What a joke.

Worse than a joke is the concept of "denying thousands of illegal immigrant children the right to attend school."  What good does that do?  Yeah, driving kids onto the streets, where they will be more likely to get into trouble, makes a TON of sense.  That's good ol' fashioned Republican governing philosphy if I've ever heard it: be a hard ass to others even if it hurts YOUR ass as well.  Oh yeah, and encourage the economic forces (e.g., "free trade" agreements and cheap labor for big corporations) drawing illegal immigrants into this country in the first place, then "[slap] them around...once they are settled here."

As the Post concludes, that's "shameful, hypocritical and ugly."  It's also quintessentially Republican: short-sighted, lacking in compassion or empathy, violating the very religious principles they claim to believe in (e.g., "The alien who resides among you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God."), xenophobic, and just downright stupid.  Heckuva job, Prince William Republicans!


It is a shame (MohawkOV1D - 7/8/2007 7:49:34 PM)
but someone has to enforce the law.  Republicans like things the way they are because Big Business needs cheap labor.  The Democrats like things the way they are because they hope for a new untapped voting block.

Prince William County doesn't owe these illegal immigrants anything! Not health care, education or social services.  Nor does any city, county or state in this country.  If the Fed were doing its job, this wouldn't be an issue.

So silly. (Lowell - 7/8/2007 8:07:15 PM)
If Prince William County proceeds in the direction it's heading, it will hurt nobody but itself.  This is nativistic nonsense, nothing more.

You're right about the Republicans (Lowell - 7/8/2007 8:10:46 PM)
wanting a cheap source of labor for corporations.  You're wrong, however, about Democrats and the new voting bloc.  By the time these undocumented workers become citizens and register to vote, it could be decades from now.  That's not a very smart, short-term or even medium-term political strategy.

One more point, which I believe you have already made: immigration needs to be dealt with at the FEDEARL level, not by individual towns or counties.  To deal with this at anything less than a national level will be futile and highly disruptive to our economy.  One county makes life miserable for illegal immigrants, they move to another county.  Wow, that's really doing a lot of good!

Immigrants are more often victims of crime, not perpetrators (Andrea Chamblee - 7/8/2007 10:57:07 PM)
They come from areas where the police as so corrupt they are not used to reporting crimes, and they are afraid they will be arrested themselves if they do, that they are vulnerable targets for fraud, robbery, rape, and domestic violence.
Communities that have prohibited enforcing federal immigration laws by the local providers have reported more reports of crime, and they can catch the criminals more easily with the cooperation of the immigrant communities.  For example, according to the Boston Globe:
Cambridge [MA], for example, has passed a resolution declaring itself a sanctuary for immigrants, and moves are underway in other cities to follow that example.
Police across the state have put great energy into convincing immigrants that they should report crimes without fear of drawing scrutiny from immigration authorities, said Rose and others, and empowering state troopers to enforce immigration law against undocumented immigrants who have broken no state laws would undermine that trust. Domestic violence advocates said they also feared that the agreement would make immigrant victims afraid to report those crimes.

Illegal Immigrants (MohawkOV1D - 7/9/2007 8:40:43 AM)
come from all over central america.  I think it is a given that the socio/economic situation in their home countries is less than humane.  However, in communities all over the U.S., illegals are subjected to the worst that America has to offer.  Corrupt lawers, unscrupulous employers, street gangs, and calous law enforcement drain what economic opportunity these people earn.  We have allowed this because cheap labor is good.  Right?

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. (Lowell - 7/9/2007 8:55:17 AM)
Cheap labor and high corporate profits apparently trump human rights, especially in the Republican Party.