Tuesday, October 23, 2007
A few days ago, we posted a story about Prince William County's new anti-immigration ordinance. Latinos are responding. According to the Washington Post:
"Supporters of the anti-illegal immigration measure adopted in Prince William County last week have argued that its most important purpose is to send a powerful signal to the county's mostly Latino illegal immigrants that they are no longer welcome. It appears the message has already been received: Terrified that new policies will lead to mass deportations, illegal immigrants and the many legal immigrant relatives and friends who live with them have been moving out of Prince William ever since July, when county supervisors first approved the plan's outline. . . . [S]igns of the growing climate of fear are everywhere." (emphasis added).
This "climate of fear" -- not that different from the one reported in Hazleton, PA, which passed its own (now enjoined) immigration law -- will not likely lead to a mass self-deportation of immigrants. Rather, they are likely to move to another county, which once again shows the need for a national approach to immigration reform.
Note also that, according to the Post, Latinos with legal immigration status are leaving Prince William County too. They understand that they, as well as undocumented immigrants, are at risk. They also have expressed fear about the generalized anti-Latino -- not just anti-undocumented immigrant -- sentiment in the community.