July 13, 2007
Clearly exasperated with the breakdown of law and order in their midst, on Tuesday the Prince William County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to deny public services to illegal immigrants. (The independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park lie within PWC, and the whole area is one of the biggest Hispanic population centers in Northern Virginia.) This raises the question of who will do the checking every time some "funny-looking" person with a foreign accent wants to check out a library book or use a public swimming pool. Is some 20-year old clerk or cashier up to the task of verifying legitimate identity documents? The Washington Post examined the practical side of the push to make sure that only legal residents can enjoy the health, educational, and recreational privileges to which bona fide members of a community are entitled.
Some people will say that this precipitous action by PWC leaders stems from the failure by Congress to pass an immigration reform bill, as local governments assume by default more of the Federal government's proper responsibility for enforcing immigration laws. Well, perhaps to some extent. I don't like alarmist approaches to policy problems, and I dislike any talk of "cracking down" on illegal aliens; on May 18, I criticized then-state senatorial candidate Scott Sayre for suggesting that state police officers start rounding up illegal immigrants. That would be a recipe for social chaos. I do know, however, that the only way to resolve the issue in the long run is to put pressure on the Feds to enforce the law. As long as the Federal government fails in its basic duties to police our borders and keeping track of foreigners who are here on a temporary visa, state and local governments are faced with a massive "unfunded mandate" to provide education and other services to people who do not legally deserve it. As long as the United States of America was the undisputed world champion in economic and political terms, we could afford to be "charitable" to the illegal immigrants who were being exploited by sleazy, cost-cutting employers. Thanks to China and the Islamo-fascists, unfortunately, we are no longer in a position to enjoy that luxury. Only through the "grass-roots" actions of local governments such as the one in Prince William County will anyone in Washington take notice that something must be done!
For a humorous take on this dead-serious matter, novatownhall explains "Why Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed To Stay." As in, NOT!