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Arizona Bill Splits Prince William Community

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By Peter Granitz

Despite the scrutiny of the recently-signed Arizona immigration bill, the leading proponent of Prince William County’s immigration policy is arguing for more states to follow Arizona.

Corey Stewart chairs the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and led the push to toughen the County’s immigration policy. He says since 2008, when police began questioning an arrested person’s immigration status, violent crimes have dropped dramatically.

“Now, few illegal aliens are left in the county to commit crimes,” says Stewart.

County police recently reported undocumented immigrants were arrested for six percent of all violent crimes last year.

Edgar Aranda with the Legal Aid Justice Center says the ordinance has not made the county any safer.

“In our community we don’t like criminals. We don’t protect criminals. Unfortunately, with this legislation, people are afraid to come forward and talk to police,” says Aranda.

Aranda says policies like the one in Prince William and Arizona confuse immigrants into believing all law enforcement officials can enforce immigration law.

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