Monday, October 22, 2007

What Is The Basis For This Assumption?

Driving in this morning, I heard a report on WMAL to the effect that the recent resolution on illegal immigrants in Prince William County was having an effect, causing Hispanic/Latino immigrants to leave the County in droves, both legal and illegal. Here's the text from the station's web site:

If the Prince William County supervisors were trying to send a message to illegal immigrants that they're not welcome, the message appears to be getting through.

The measures adopted last week in Prince William County were created to send the message signal to the county's mostly Latino illegal immigrants that they are no longer welcome, supporters say.

Since July, it appears both illegal and legal immigrant relatives and friends have been moving out of Prince William County, fearing the new policies will incur mass deportations, although the exact numbers of the migration are difficult to measure.

Although the measures passed last week direct county police to verify immigration status specific to criminal suspects, immigrants are concerned the entire Latino community is being targeted for immigration sweeps.

The county police department will begin immigration status training in January.
The source? None is stated in the text report, but the on-air report cited a company that teaches English to immigrants reports that its business is down.

But how does this business know which of its patrons is legally in the country, and which is not? Do they ask? One has to wonder, since they are not an employer, and therefore under no obligation to ask.

The WaPo story to the same effect (H/T to Doug Mataconis) is here, and provides some answers. It has more detail, and suggests a truly positive effect (emphasis added):
Among the absent students was Jose Luis Pubeac, 42, a day laborer who sneaked into the country 18 months ago. He was busy preparing for his flight back to El Salvador on Saturday.
That's a bad thing?!?!? The guy "sneaked into the country"! If he's leaving, it sounds as though PWC's actions have been more effective than those of ICE, who couldn't seem to find him.

Of course, those in the country legally --- at least, those who are not aiding and abetting those who are not --- have and should have nothing to fear from the County's actions, since legal immigrants are welcome, even celebrated.

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