See a video on the anti-illegal immigration resolution
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted early Wednesday to train seven police officers enforce immigration law and authorized funding to do so.
There is about $325,000 in the police department’s budget for the program that will cost $14.2 million over five years.
The board also directed staff to create a public outreach program to educate people about the resolution and its implementation, form a relationship with a non-partisan consulting group to provide consultation and evaluation of the police policy.
The resolution further directed staff to report on the progress of the consulting group.??????
As a result of the board’s vote, some county services will be denied to illegal residents that include substance abuse programs in the Prince William-Manassas regional jail, services to allow illegal elderly to stay in homes and, aging in-home care, business, tax relief programs for the elderly and disabled tax relief programs, tax exemptions for home renovations and rental and mortgage assistance programs.
Supervisor Michael C. May, R-Occoquan, cautioned people that the resolution would solve the of illegal immigration problem in Prince William County.
“It’s going to make a difference a positive difference,” May said.
May told the audience that people didn’t need to fear that police would be “kicking in doors.”
“I hope that the community will continue to work with us,” May said. “I want every citizen to know that my office is going to be open to hear from you as we continue to implement this.”
Supervisor Hilda M. Barg, said the public education portion of the resolution would help eased the fear in the community.
“We’re not going to be knocking on your doors or locking up your children,” Barg told the room full of immigrants.
“We’re not going to be stopping the mother at the grocery store. We’re not going to be stopping someone that’s getting a cup of coffee at the 7-Eleven just because of your skin color,” Barg said.??
More that 375 people signed up to express their views on the anti-illegal immigration resolution that Prince William Supervisor John T. Stirrup proposed in July.
Those in favor of the resolution, that sought to deny certain county services to illegal immigrants, said they didn’t want tax money used by illegal immigrants.
Those opposed said they paid taxes.
Those in favor said the resolution wasn’t about race.
The opposition asked how could it be otherwise.
Those in favor said the resolution was about being in the county illegally.
The opposition said people couldn’t be illegal.
There was little room for the two sides to find common ground.
The crowd inside and outside the board chambers at the McCoart was largely made of people opposed to the resolution.
They applauded those with whom they agreed and jeered those who had other views in spite of repeated requests from Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart, R-at large,to refrain from such demonstrations.
More than 200 people remained after 12 hours of public comment.
Keith Walker?can be reached at 703-878-8063