VA County Paying for Illegal Immigration Crackdown

Prince William County in Virginia is officially wounding itself due to its crackdown on "illegal immigration."

On July 10, 2007, Prince William County unanimously adopted a resolution to deny services to illegal or undocumented immigrants and enable immigration enforcement by local law enforcement. The "logic" behind the resolution was that illegal immigration was causing "economic hardship and lawlessness" in the County. Less than a year later, it is obvious that the resolution has backfired.

Due to the increased detention of undocumented immigrants for routine traffic violations and minor infractions, Prince William County jails are overflowing because ICE cannot possibly retrieve and deport them promptly. The economic cost? Prince William County is apparently spending 3 million more in the wake of its illegal immigration crackdown due to transporation and paperwork alone, which the Washington Post reports, doe not include the costs of law enforcement in enforcing the new resolution.

It is advisable to make laws after careful academic study and impact assessment, instead of incurring incremental losses due to racism and xenophobia (see the comments during the debate over the resolution — the children of undocumented workers were called parasites, among other ad-homs and insults). Most economists agree that illegal immigrants are a net gain for the economy and in Prince William County, the crackdown on undocumented workers is causing more harm than good. 

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