Note - I stole the title for this blog entry from the title of last night's "Lost" episode, but this entry is NOT about "Lost"... I'll be blogging about THAT later today!
No, this entry is about the shape of the anti-illegal immigration sentiments that have swept the nation, and most specifically, Northern Virginia, over the past 2 or 3 years. For pretty much all of 2007, it was the ONLY thing being discussed in Prince William, as the county's top elected official whipped his one and only issue like a flea-bitten nag in a horserace. He won the race, but may have killed the nag in the process. The rest of the board of supervisors went along and unanimously ordered police to check the immigration status of all criminal suspects, and turn over all illegals to ICE for deportation. Well, what happened? The county jail is now filled beyond capacity with illegals, the federal government says it can't keep up with the county's pace of arrests, and now lawmakers are discovering the cure may be worse than the disease... enforcing immigration policy at the local level is proving to be too damn expensive.
How much longer will the residents of Prince William County be willing to fund this loser of a social experiment? Well, guess what? There are already cracks forming in the resolve of the county board:
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) _ Prince William County supervisor Frank Principi says he will propose that the county repeal a policy that directs police to check the citizenship or immigration status of criminal suspects they believe might be in the country unlawfully.
Principi is the first member of the board of supervisors to challenge the enforcement element of the county’s recent crackdown on illegal immigration. The crackdown was approved in October, when Principi was not on the board. The policy denies services to illegal immigrants.
Since the policy took effect in March, the county jail has become more crowded and police have asked for video cameras in patrol cars to protect officers from allegations of racial profiling.
Supervisors voted Tuesday to cut more than $3 million from the next budget that was to be allotted for the cameras and enforcement of the policy.
At a time when inflation is on the verge of explosion (by the way, read THIS if you want a good scare about that!), and taxes are rising for everyone, will people really want to pay to warehouse illegal immigrants who are not going to be moved out anytime soon? And what about the cost of paying for services that are currently being provided on the cheap by illegals? If you scare them away from Prince William, who's going to clean your house or cut your grass? Be ready to pay MUCH more for services like those.
For all of the people who think they've taken the high moral ground by demanding that illegal immigrants be driven out of the country, let's see where that political resolve is when gas hits four bucks a gallon and a loaf of bread costs five bucks. Frank Principi is on to something. It's probably too late in the long run to salvage the political careers of those lawmakers who were elected in the glow of the anti-illegal immigration movement, but here's a piece of advice for you anyway -
It's STILL the economy, STUPID!