Here’s the link for UVA’s report on the impacts of the Rule of Law Resolution.
UPDATE 2: I’m told that Mexicans Without Borders has managed to slither out from whatever rock they’ve been hiding lately to play damage control and demand this now-proven policy be rescinded. Citizens might want to show up at the evening session at 7:30 to thank the Board for remaining committed and dismissing the falsehoods Mexicanos Sin Fronteras tried to peddle.
UPDATE 3: Press Release on this is below the fold…
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . In 2008, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors took the unprecedented step of commissioning the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research to conduct an unbiased, social-scientific investigation on the impact the immigration policy would have on the local community.
Today, the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research, supported by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and James Madison University (JMU), reports its findings of the impact that Prince William County’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement Policy has had on dealing with the challenges of illegal immigration.
The report focuses on the County’s police efforts to implement the policy adopted by the Board of County Supervisors in July 2008. One of the main findings of the report is the following:
“One implication of Prince William’s experience is inescapable,” states the report. “It is indeed possible for a local government to have an impact on its experience with illegal immigration, despite the national scope of the problem and the primacy of the federal government in dealing with the issue.”
The report acknowledges the intended goals and potential challenges that have been articulated regarding the policy. Despite much controversy and argument on all sides of the issue, the report objectively illustrates the actual impacts of the policy. Of note are the following findings:
* Although relatively speaking, illegal immigrants account for a small to modest percent of most crime, the following crimes were impacted:
o Aggravated assault declined substantially since the policy was announced – The report argues that “this decline coincided very closely with the announcement of the policy, which makes it less likely that the drop was precipitated by factors like the County’s economic trends or other PWCPD crime-reduction initiatives.”
o There was a sharp decline in serious hit-and-run accidents – The researchers conclude that “this change is a direct result of the policy and the departure of illegal immigrants, since illegal immigrants would have obvious incentives to leave the scene of a traffic accident and the reduction seems less likely to be linked to possible changes in reporting of incidents.”
* The policy provides a reasonable method for addressing the illegal immigration issue in the community – The report notes that the policy “mandates immigration checks only for arrestees, [and] appears to be a reasonable way of targeting illegal immigrants who commit criminal violations.”
* The police reputation was not irreparably damaged – The report notes that, initially, there was a dissatisfaction and distrust of the police, particularly in the Hispanic community. However, it points out that “chilly relations with Hispanics warmed fairly rapidly,” and “overall satisfaction with the police was fully restored among Hispanics by 2010.”
* Prince William County is viewed by its residents, regardless of race or ethnicity, as inclusive and as a great place to live – In comparing Hispanic to non-Hispanic sentiments, the report notes that both remain satisfied with Prince William County and both rate Prince William County as a desirable place to live.
* There is no evidence of racial profiling – The report notes “we can say with assurance that no detectable pattern of over-enthused immigration enforcement developed among the County’s police officers, and we heard nothing from any quarter about any [officers] abusing their discretion on this issue.”
* The fear of costly litigation stemming from the policy never materialized – The report points out the fact that only two lawsuits have been filed as a result of the policy. The first was a class action lawsuit filed against the County seeking to have the policy overturned. The second included peripheral allegations of profiling resulting from a Police arrest. The Court has thrown out all legal challenges to the policy and all allegations of racial profiling.
* There was no exodus of legal immigrants, and the largest immigrant population (Hispanics) remained stable – The report finds that “substantial numbers of illegal immigrants did leave the County, and it is reasonable to suppose that some legal immigrants also chose to leave.” However, “the fact that the size of the Hispanic community remained stable as the illegal immigrants departed, and the age structure of the Hispanic community changed significantly after the policy was introduced, both suggest that more acculturated Hispanics remained and/or took the place of the illegal immigrants (and legal immigrants) who did choose to leave.”
“This report confirms what we have argued all along – Prince William County’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement Policy and the Police Department’s enforcement of the policy is fair, non-discriminatory, and has made a positive impact on our community,” said Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Prince William County serves as a model for how other localities and states can deal with the issues brought on by the federal government’s unwillingness to address the problems with current immigration practices. By identifying and reporting arrested criminals who are in this country illegally, localities send a strong message that criminal illegal aliens are not welcome in their community. Through extensive training of our Police officers and educating our citizens, we are able to build trust and ensure the safety of all of our residents. I hope that other localities will follow our lead.”
The “Evaluation Study of Prince William County Illegal Immigration Enforcement Policy” is a report of a three-year, interdisciplinary evaluation study of the illegal immigration policy in Prince William County. The study was requested by the Board at the time the policy was passed into law and was funded by Prince William County. The research team was a collaboration of researchers at the University of Virginia, the Police Executive Research Forum and James Madison University.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.