Tonight the Manassas City Council voted almost unanimously to seek participation in the federal program under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to deport illegal aliens who are processed through the Adult Detention Center. This facility is operated by Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, and an agreement among all of these jurisdictions will be sought, making this a regional response to the problems caused by illegal immigration.
The only councilmember who voted against the proposal was Steve Smith. After alienating himself from the liberals last week, he’s antagonized the conservatives this week, and I’m sure this vote will come up if he seeks re-election at the end of his term. A number of those present were not impressed by this, and expressed some surprise that he would take this stand.
Jackson Miller deserves credit for raising this issue several months ago and working so hard to gain support for the idea. Along the way he had to settle for a bit less than he wanted, but in doing so gained almost universal support from not only the council, but the community as well. Citizens who spoke during citizens time this evening overwhelmingly supported this proposal and were thankful that the council was taking action to deal with what has become the number one issue on the minds of voters, Twenty four citizens spoke this evening, and only five expressed any concerns for the council’s actions (more on that later).
This is a great first step to deal with the effects of illegal immigration, and more steps will certainly be needed. But we can celebrate a small victory in what will likely be a long battle tonight, and be thankful to those who worked hard to make it possible.
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