Mighty white of ’em

Given my current address on the wrong side of the digital divide tracks, I can go for days without hearing about big news, much less regional-level stories like this one from Virginia:

Within months, traffic stops in Prince William County may carry serious consequences for thousands of residents, as police officers begin checking the immigration status of anyone who breaks the law, whether for speeding or shoplifting, if they believe that person is in the country illegally.

With their unanimous vote early yesterday, the county supervisors also cut off certain services to illegal immigrants who are homeless, elderly or addicted to drugs.

The supervisors have yet to determine how they will pay for enforcement of the policies. But in a raw, emotional sense, the perception of the changes coming to Prince William has outpaced the reality of funding limitations and other practical matters.

That’s the WaPo. One of the local papers breaks it down a little more and discusses the issue of exactly what “certain services” are going to be cut. :

One thing that became clear in Tuesday’s board debate was that the rhetoric had cooled in terms of denying services such as health care to illegal immigrants and other services aimed at helping those in need, including the homeless. Last month several supervisors argued that no services, including emergency medical care, should be provided to illegal immigrants by any agency that receives a portion of its funding from the county.

I actually heard about this one through the back door, in the middle of the night over the weekend, via dealing with a case at my second job as a domestic violence advocate. Whatever fine distinctions the upstanding Christians on the Prince William County board of supervisors are making about “no one there advocating throwing the homeless out” on the street and “no one there advocating not giving shelter to battered women,” I can tell you that this is not the perception of things out on the mean streets of Manassas. The county supervisors can draw all the lines they like and point out that they are still compassionate human beings, but the signal they are giving has gone out loud and clear in the opposite direction.

Pink Lady, a native Virginian, gives this story the ITPT treatment but she ain’t really laughing:

The measures approved by the supervisors will direct police to check the immigration status of any brown person accused of breaking the law, such as breathing in air. Immigrants will also be denied certain county services such as drug counseling and services for the elderly.

Oh that’s just great. NOW where are all those 85-year-old Hispanic crack addicts going to go?

The real question of course, is how soon and to what extent we will see other municipalities following suit. As goes Prince William, goes where else?

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