Prince William County Immigration Policy Report

Tuesday, Nov. 16 — A study undertaken by the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research on the affects of Prince William County’s policy on illegal immigrants has shown a number of key things:

  • Aggravated assault declined substantially
  • A sharp decline in serious hit-and-run accidents
  • No evidence of racial profiling
  • PWC’s largest immigrant population (Hispanics) remained stable overall

The study, according to the PWC government, was set up to “conduct an unbiased, social-scientific investigation on the impact the immigration policy would have on the local community.”

The policy, adopted by the Board of County Supervisors in July 2008, required Prince William police to check the immigration status of every person they arrest by running their names through a national database to check citizenship status.

In addressing the crime reduction aspects that the study turned up related to the 2008 policy, the report states that the “decline [in aggravated assault] coincided very closely with the announcement of the policy.”

And regarding the reduction in hit-and-run-accidents, the study had this to say: “This change is a direct result of the policy and the departure of illegal immigrants, since illegal immigrants would have obvious incentives to leave the scene of a traffic accident and the reduction seems less likely to be linked to possible changes in reporting of incidents.”

The report also concluded that “substantial numbers of illegal immigrants did leave the County.” However, it argued that “the fact that the size of the Hispanic community remained stable as the illegal immigrants departed … suggest that more acculturated Hispanics remained and/or took the place of the illegal immigrants (and legal immigrants) who did choose to leave.”

Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said in a statement that “Prince William County serves as a model for how other localities and states can deal with the issues brought on by the federal government’s unwillingness to address the problems with current immigration practices. By identifying and reporting arrested criminals who are in this country illegally, localities send a strong message that criminal illegal aliens are not welcome in their community.”

For a look at the report’s summary, please go to: UVA Illegal Immigration Survey Results. For the complete 169-page report, plus appendices, please see: Evaluation Study of Prince William County’s Illegal Immigration Enforcement Policy FINAL REPORT 2010. And for the report presentation, go to: Center for Survey Research Study Presentation.

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