BACKGROUND

Prior to the adoption of the Rule Of Law Resolution, Prince William County Police operated under the provisions of General Order 26-05 entitled "Jurisdiction and Arrest Procedures: Undocumented Immigrants" that prevented police officers from questioning suspects about their immigration status unless they had committed a felony violation.  This effective "sanctuary policy" shielded illegal aliens from the consequences of their behavior in many instances and established the perception among the then-growing illegal alien population that law enforcement agencies in the county were entirely uninterested in enforcing the law.  During that time, the number of illegal aliens turned over to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration And Customs Enforcement numbered less than fifty annually.

Help Save Manassas criticized this policy and the secrecy that shrouded it, and then worked to develop an alternative that would ensure that local law enforcement agencies and county government worked in concert with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement rather than undermining their mission.  That initiative became known as the "Rule Of Law Resolution."

ADOPTION OF THE RULE OF LAW RESOLUTION

The Rule of Law Resolution proposed by Supervisor John Stirrup (R-Gainesville) was unanimously adopted by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on July 10th, 2007 and came into full enforcement on March 3rd, 2008.  The resolution empowers local police officers to inquire about the legal status of suspected illegal aliens when they are suspected of violating a local law or ordinance, expands the county's participation in the Section 287(g) Program, and restricts some taxpayer-funded public benefits from being provided to illegal aliens.

On April 29th, 2008 the Prince William County Board of Supervisors modified the enforcement provisions of the policy to remove the probable cause standard which had previously governed which suspected illegal aliens would be subjected to a check of their immigration status.  The modified policy subjects all persons arrested to a check of their status, and leaves to the discretion of the officer whether to perform checks on suspects who are not arrested.  This new resolution is available here.

For more information regarding the Rule of Law Resolution, please visit the Illegal Immigration webpage of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

RESULTS

The DC Examiner reported in June, 2008 that crime decreased 22% in Prince William County (the largest crime reduction in seven years) while Fairfax County saw an increase of 6%.  Murders were down in 2007 by 44% despite illegal aliens being responsible for five of the nine murders in 2007.  In 2008 violent crime decreased over 36% according to the Prince William County Police Department and murders by illegal aliens dropped to zero.  The reductions in violent crime in Prince William County are more than double that of surrounding jurisdictions.

As of April 2009, The Prince William County Adult Detention Center had issued 1,606 immigration detainers under the Section 287(g) Program, and turned 1,506 criminal illegal aliens over to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation since July of 2007.  These illegal aliens were arrested for crimes including attempted murder, cocaine posession, grand larceny, felony hit-and-run, shoplifting, assault, DUI, identify fraud and sexual abuse.

In addition to the identification of illegal aliens and crackdown on illegal alien criminal behavior, other significant public benefits have been observed.  These include the following:

  • Prince William County Schools reported a mid-year drop in ESOL enrollments that saves county taxpayers at least $6-12 million annually.  All jurisdictions surrounding Prince William County, including those that have seen a steady decline in student enrollments, are reporting significant increases in ESOL enrollments.  By May 1st of 2008, 1,200 ESOL students have been reported as transferring to other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, each of which costs taxpayers between $2,500 and $5,000 above the base student cost.  This does not include the number of students who have repatriated to their home countries. (source: DC Examiner)
  • The Town of Dumfries has reported that complaints of residential overcrowding have gone from over 80 annually to zero. (source: Manassas Journal-Messenger)
  • Prince William Hospital has indicated that the number of requests for prenatal care for the indigent has gone from over fifty a month to five. (source: Prince William Hospital)
  • The appearance of graffiti attributed to criminal gangs such as MS-13, Surenos-13 and the "South Side Locos" has dramatically reduced. (source: member reports)
  • Residential overcrowding in several neighborhoods in the Manassas area has abated significantly since enforcement of the Rule of Law Resolution began.  Complaints were down 62% in 2007 over 2006. (source: Prince William County Police Department)
  • Traffic safety has improved.  Alcohol-related fatal crashes were down 25% and vehicle accident fatalities are down 31%.  Total vehicle accidents are down 17.4%. (source: Prince William County Police Department)
  • As of November 30, 2008 Prince William County has detained 1,353 illegal aliens of which 1,269 have already been turned over to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
  • Murders by illegal aliens dropped to zero in 2008, after the rule of law resolution was in place.  In 2007, five of the nine murder victims in Prince William County were killed by illegal aliens (source: Prince William County Police Department)

The Rule of Law Resolution is yielding significant positive benefits for county taxpayers, the quality of life in our communities, and the safety and security of our families.

News Coverage Of The Rule Of Law Resolution



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