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The Tide Turns On Illegal Aliens

By Greg L | 28 June 2007 | Illegal Aliens, Manassas City, Prince William County | 16 Comments

A few months ago an editorial in the Manassas Journal-Messenger questioned what a group like Help Save Manassas would be able to constructively contribute to the public debate on illegal immigration.  At that time, the tea leaves being read by the editorial board seemed to indicate that Help Save Manassas would either be ineffective, or counterproductive.  Today’s Potomac News article “Group wants police to question status” seems to answer the question about what sort of impact Help Save Manassas can have, and “ineffective” is certainly a foregone conclusion at this point. 

In Manassas City, councilman Marc Aveni is leading an effort to improve the Memorandum of Understanding with the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) under the Section 287(g) program to allow the Manassas Police Department the widest flexibility in dealing with criminal illegal aliens.  Regardless of what resources are available at ICE to implement this program, if the city’s agreement with ICE is as broad as possible, it will be able to take advantage of the program to the maximum extent possible.  In Prince William County, Supervisor John Stirrup’s proposed resolution to reverse the sanctuary policy of the county police department and ensure that statutory public benefits at the county level are not used to support illegal aliens as required by Virginia law has gained overwhelming public support and tremendous media interest.  In both of these cases, members of Help Save Manassas, working with elected officials and constitutional lawyers from the Immigration Reform Law Institute have helped to advance a solid legislative agenda which has re-framed the public debate which, if successful, may substantially impact public safety and quality of life in the Prince William area in a positive way.

If you believe that illegal aliens shouldn’t be getting ignored by the county police department, if you think that criminal illegal aliens should be deported, and if you think that taxpayer-funded public benefits shouldn’t be provided to illegal aliens, it’s time to contact your local elected officials and ask them to support these important initiatives.  If you think it’s important to follow this up with initiatives to prevent child identity theft, legislation to prevent the illegal harboring of illegal aliens, and strengthen the voter registration system to routinely screen applications for illegal alien applicants, it’s time to become a member of Help Save Manassas and help these productive and legally sound initiatives succeed.

Perhaps some day even the Manassas Journal-Messenger editorial board, after seeing this level of success, will begin to understand that the debate over illegal immigration hasn’t only changed substantially, but improved as well.

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  1. disgusted LEGAL citizen said on 28 Jun 2007 at 10:36 am:
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    And a HUGE “Atta Boy” to you, Greg, for spear-heading these efforts!! We appreciate your tremendous efforts on our behalf!!

  2. Dan Arnold said on 28 Jun 2007 at 1:59 pm:
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    Now that we of the pitchfork brigade have killed the Amnesty bill in the US Senate (congrats to all you patriots out there, by the way), we need to turn our telephonic energy toward the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and make sure they act on this resolution. Apparently, there are some who want to use the ineffectiveness of ICE as an excuse to do virtually nothing to rid our communities of criminal illegals (oxymoron?).

    That is bunk! If ICE isn’t doing their job, then let the world know about it. See, we’ve still got to get the job down here in little old PW County and then, when the federal agency responsible for dealing with immigration violations refuses to deport criminal aliens, we turn it into a national media story and turn up the heat on ICE!

    Nothing good can change when timidity is proposed as public policy.

  3. anonymous said on 28 Jun 2007 at 2:36 pm:
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    Here is what happens with a strong police department:

    PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — The sheriff’s department has developed a remarkably effective - and controversial - way of catching illegal immigrants: Deputies in patrol cars pull up to a construction site in force, and watch and see who runs.

    Those who take off are chased down and arrested on charges such as trespassing, for cutting through someone else’s property, or loitering, for hiding out in someone’s yard, or reckless driving, for speeding off in a car.

    U.S. immigration authorities are then given the names of those believed to be in this country illegally.

    “It’s not wrong for them to run, but it’s not wrong for us to chase them either,” said Sheriff Frank McKeithen, who created his Illegal Alien Task Force in April to target construction sites in this Florida Panhandle county.

    Immigrant advocates say the technique is repugnant, and the ACLU says its constitutionality is questionable.

    Illegal immigrants are leaving town. And builders are worried the crackdown will deprive them of the labor they need to take part in a building boom in which Panama City’s Beach cheap spring-break motels are being torn down and replaced with high-rise condos.

    The sheriff said the raids are justified under a long-standing Florida law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

    His department has conducted dozens of these raids over the past three months, sometimes using five or six patrol cars, and has reported more than 500 people to immigration officials since November.

    The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund is investigating the arrests because “the intimidation factor is of great concern,” said Elise Shore, regional counsel for the organization.

    Benjamin Stevenson, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida, said he finds the tactic troubling.

    “Why are they sending out six or seven agents to investigate a paper crime, and are they causing them to run in the first place through intimidation?” he asked.

    As the debate over illegal immigration plays out in Washington, McKeithen is among a growing number of state and local officials taking it upon themselves to enforce immigration laws that up to now were regarded as a federal responsibility.

    For example, Farmers Branch, Texas, is trying to prohibit apartment rentals to illegal immigrants in the Dallas suburb. Georgia passed a law requiring employers to verify the immigration status of all new employees.

    Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Miami, would not comment on the sheriff’s tactics.

    McKeithen has asked Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for a legal opinion on his tactics. A spokeswoman for McCollum said the office is researching the request.

    McKeithen is already under fire from civil rights groups over the videotaped 2006 death of a 14-year-old boy who was roughed up by guards at a juvenile boot camp operated by the sheriff’s department. Eight former employees are facing manslaughter charges.

    The sheriff said that more recently, his officers have been making fewer arrests of workers who flee, and are concentrating more on asking employers for the paperwork on their employees. Sheriff’s deputies then arrest workers whose documents are found to be fraudulent.

    Mexican illegal immigrant Jose Madrid, 28, said he has been unable to find a construction job over the past six weeks because of the crackdown, and hasn’t been able to send money to his parents and his 7-year-old son back home.

    “We immigrants, we are leaving Panama City. People are afraid they will be deported,” he said. “The companies don’t want to hire illegal people. Now they’re only hiring those with papers.”

    Developer Louis Breland is finishing the first phase of a $750 million beach condo project.

    “Subcontractors could not function without immigrant laborers for painting, rebar and steel work. They are the best workers,” he said. “Without them, the cost of construction would be 10 times as much and nothing would get built.”

  4. ACTivist said on 28 Jun 2007 at 4:58 pm:
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    Panama City shows great imaginary insite as one aspect of ferreting out the illegal aliens. Something as simple as sobriety checkpoints or vehical sticker/decal checkpoints could make good use of this vehicle stoppage by also checking legal residence of occupants. We shouldn’t just focus on the deportation of “criminal” illegals as all ILLEGALS in this country are criminal for being here in the first place.

  5. park'd said on 28 Jun 2007 at 5:51 pm:
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    What I don’t understand is the statement that companies always say that if we can’t hire illegals then the costs go up by 10x?? How did we ever build this country or do any business at all before illegal labor came on the scene?? Have illegals always built all the houses and cooked all the food, etc? I seem to remember a day when Americans did this type of work and costs then were actually LOWER than they are now. I sure as he11 have not seen any of the savings passed onto me from this illegal labor. It is all greed by these corporations and when the illegals are gone then their profit margins will go down. Any of them that try to pass the costs onto us need to be investigated for their practices.

  6. Had to Say said on 28 Jun 2007 at 6:10 pm:
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    I read that story yesterday. I say it takes alot of balls to do what they are doing. I have to go now, so I can cry for the “poor” illegal that can’t find work because the employers will only hire people with papers.

    What a concept! DO THE RIGHT THING! Follow the laws. When this is done, illegals start to leave! If everyone would do this, they would go back to their own country.

  7. Legal2 said on 28 Jun 2007 at 6:12 pm:
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    Anonymous - Thanks for the great news from FL!
    Dunkin’ Donuts is the best-known corporation to enroll in Basic Pilot, a Department of Homeland Security program that is voluntary. Under the program, employers are allowed to perform electronic document checks to verify that applicants are eligible to work. Perhaps we can encourage this for those who want to “Do the Right Thing” in PWC and surrounds.

  8. The Patriot said on 28 Jun 2007 at 7:25 pm:
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    The cost thing is ridiculous. Actually, if amnesty made it through and legalized all of the current “illegal alien workers” they would demand more pay once legalized. Once that happened the companies would cry foul and “let them go” for new cheaper “illegal workers”. We would then have a surplus of people out of work and a huge burden on our social services benefits system (welfare, WIC, foodstamps, etc.). That would cost us more than higher priced goods.

  9. The Patriot said on 28 Jun 2007 at 7:26 pm:
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    Legal, we need McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc. to follow Dunkin Donuts lead.

  10. Bryanna said on 29 Jun 2007 at 7:27 am:
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    Let’s try a new approach…cause and effect. Cause: Government lacks the funding and resources to stop illegals from entering this country. Effect: Prince William and other jurisdictions across the nation have involuntarily become sanctuaries that harbor illegals without legal recourse and place american’s at risk to be victims of crime and terrorism.

    Our local government can’t afford to provide the additional police, jail space, and resources needed, and it appears that our Federal Government can’t either. Do we allow these criminals to roam freely in our society, use our hospitals, schools and not pay their fair share of taxes, or simply ignore it until they commit a felony before enforcing deportation?

    Potomac News / Manassas Journal Messenger’s columnist James Simpson wrote a very profound paragraph in his column recently about ending the war on drugs. “Illegal drug money is funding terrorism”

    By decriminalizing marijuana alone, this country can save billions of dollars that can be redirected at stopping the illegal infiltration of aliens. Every day I read about multiple arrests for the possession of marijuana in the local newspaper. Let’s end the overcrowding problem in our jails and prisons so we can lock up and deport the real criminals.

    It’s time to balance the budget and priorities of this nation. We spend money in this country like drunken solders, yet federal, state and local governments claim not to have the resources to enforce illegal immigration.

    By taking away the need for a “black market” we stop funding terrorism, redirect federal spending to fight illegal immigration, permit elective medical use, and create a new source for taxable revenue. Hmmm…

    The most powerful lobbyist groups in the world represent the interests of tobacco and alcohol, and they will never let this happen, to them legalizing drugs is a competitive threat and they’re not willing toplace their market share at risk.

    James Simpson isn’t alone, conservative journalist William F. Buckley spoke out publicly in support for legalization of marijuana years ago. Maybe it’s time for America to decide what is best for us and not the over paid lobbyist who represent special interests groups. Legal and tax marijuana, pay off our national debt, fight back in the war against terrorism and illegal immigration, and renew America!

    It’s time for american’s to get active and tell their elected officials what we want our government priorities to be in this country, and how they should be spending our tax dollars.

    When elected officials say no to our requests to rounding up and deporting illegals and sealing our borders, what they’re really saying is: We don’t have the money or the resources to do that and we can’t do anything that will piss off the big gun lobbyist or they will stop giving us generous campaign contributions to fund our election campaigns.

    Illegals ARE criminals and as a tax payer, legal citizen and voter, I’ve heard enough excuses. It’s time to do something about it. God bless John Stirrup!

  11. AWCheney said on 29 Jun 2007 at 2:14 pm:
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    The key to bringing this situation under control, at least in this area, is passing local ordinances and laws that make it UNWELCOME for illegal aliens. When they start to fear the possibility of deportation, they move on and others do not move in. This has happened in other localities once they started cracking down on this population. Although there may be an initial period where our justice is strained, it will not take long before we will begin seeing some real progress in getting our local government costs (especially the schools) back under control.

    Ultimately, the overall problem can only be addressed at the Federal level. There MUST be some sort of national movement to seek a reasonable solution to the illegal alien problem (NOT AMNESTY), among which would be to find a means by which at least the current laws are adequately enforced.

  12. AWCheney said on 29 Jun 2007 at 2:18 pm:
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    Correction: “justice ^system”

  13. Lafayette said on 29 Jun 2007 at 3:16 pm:
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    You are right again, passing these ordinances and laws also makes illegals not want to come to our fine county in the first place. Our children in the public schools, need and deserve the best education possible. I must add, bless you Mr. Stirrup and thanks a million and I have spoken to many citizens in 4 districts that feel the exact same way. I’d like to add all of these folks have lived in PWC, over 50 years!!! Support from the citizens is enormous. Now, we need this type of support from entire PWCBOS. I’d like to add my mother has gotten calls from about 10 friends(they too 50 years plus in PWC)adding their support on this important matter.

  14. Legal2 said on 30 Jun 2007 at 7:29 am:
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    Anon, I disagree about the mj. Our police and other resources would then need to deal with probably worse consequences if mj were legalized. (We already have enough dopey people!) Seriously, a liberal’s way of reducing crime is to de-criminalize an activity. Probably because they only live in the present. We could give amnesty to the illegals - then we wouldn’t have to spend our efforts trying to do something about them in our communities. Yeah, but we would be inviting more, and problems compound exponentially. Let’s not try to solve one problem by legalizing another.

  15. AWCheney said on 30 Jun 2007 at 1:38 pm:
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    Legal2, Anonymous is obviously a Libertarian (see “The MJM Gets Goofy On Illegals” thread) who is trying to promote his own agenda among people who are passionate about this issue. Illegal immigration is not high on that agenda, so this is mere subterfuge.

  16. cryfoul said on 11 Jul 2007 at 11:48 am:
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    Every 3-4 years, the illegal immigration topic becomes a hot issue which is being used to divert attentions. You’re one of the mass. Have fun!

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