Now that the DC Examiner has run the story, it’s time to start talking about the effects of Prince William County’s crackdown on illegal aliens on the county’s budget.
When Prince William County was considering the Rule of Law resolution, one of the arguments supporting it’s passage was that the county pays an enormous amount of money providing public benefits to illegal aliens, much of which cannot be denied because of state or federal law. If illegal aliens are discouraged from unlawfully residing in the county, they won’t be here to request these benefits, and this should result in significant budget savings for the county, which comes right at a time when tax assessments are declining. Spending money to improve law enforcement efforts to hold illegal aliens accountable for their unlawful behavior should result in budget savings that will more than pay for this effort.
And that is exactly what the early data indicates. Dan Gentz of the DC Examiner tells us the story about how demand for taxpayer-funded prenatal care for the poor has dropped, and that births in the county are down 10%. Of course the folks that make their living by providing these services claim that “fear” is preventing folks from coming out to get prenatal care, but the bigger picture here tells a much different story.
I’ve heard that the number of births at Prince William Hospital to parents who couldn’t pay their bills has dropped from fifty a month to five. Prince William Hospital told us recently that it shoulders $15 million in unpaid medical bills each year, so this should be a significant financial benefit for them. If “fear” was preventing expecting illegal aliens mothers from obtaining taxpayer-funded prenatal care, would it also prevent them from going to the hospital to have their babies? That’s terribly unlikely. The much more plausible answer here is that illegal aliens are leaving, which reduces the demand for taxpayer-funded health services.
I’ve also heard that enrollments for federal welfare programs such as TANF and AFDC in Fairfax County jumped tremendously this summer from people who had recently left Prince William County. Those welfare recipients also required schools for their children and county services in addition to the federal benefits they were applying for. With the demand shifting away from Prince William County, there should be an evident decrease in the number of county residents requesting support from county welfare agencies, and that could easily add up to several million dollars annually.
The biggest change should be evident in the school system, and anecdotal evidence there supports the conclusion that illegal aliens are leaving Prince William County and reducing the pressure on our overcrowded schools. I know that enrollment has declined in some Elementary Schools in the Gainesville District, and that decline was entirely the result of students who coincidentally required ESOL services moving away. Although enrollments still remain high, the student explosion that seemed as if it would never stop clearly has stopped. My daughter’s class shrunk from twenty one to seventeen students since the beginning of the year, and I’m told that this is happening all over.
Prince William County is a testbed for policies seeking to discourage the unlawful presence of illegal aliens. Hopefully data is being diligently collected which can demonstrate the positive fiscal impacts of seeking to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. When it is all collected, it should paint a clear picture of not only what the real costs are of a permissive attitude by government towards illegal aliens, but the substantial savings that can result when policies that make it easy for illegal aliens to reside in a community are reformed.
Help Save Manassas will soon be proven to have helped save county taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. It’s an interesting turn of the phrase, but not only does the community benefit by restoring the quality of life in our neighborhoods by discouraging illegal aliens from residing there, it saves taxpayers boatloads of money.
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