Immigration Initiative Is Left Out of Budget – Washington Post
Chairman Says Funds Will Be FoundBy Kristen Mack
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2008; Page B08
Prince William County Executive Craig S. Gerhart will propose a budget that leaves out money for the county’s crackdown on illegal immigration, which was approved by supervisors after it divided the community last fall.
Like other jurisdictions in the Washington area, Prince William is facing declining revenue because of the sagging housing market. In the coming budget year, county officials will probably have to make cuts in jobs and services such as education and consider raising the property tax rate to close a projected $51 million shortfall.
I don’t understand why the county would remove access to substance abuse counseling for undocumented migrants. Why would this service be taken away from anyone? Though it’s not quite the same as taking school away from children it is definitely something we should be offering to anyone and everyone willing to participate. Regardless of their legal status as a citizen it behooves no one to leave those in need of this type of counseling out in the cold. Offering this counseling could bring about a dialogue resulting in positive change for these migrants and if they must be deported at least they’ll do so clean and sober or at least on the path.
I believe this same service has been removed in other harsh anti-migrant states such as Arizona and Oklahoma. An Alternet article titled “Immigration Hardliners Try to Unhinge America” states of Prince William County, VA’s laws:
In October the supervisors in Prince William County, Virginia, voted to crack down on illegal immigrants by increasing police enforcement, creating a Criminal Alien Unit and denying virtually all services, including substance abuse counseling.
Similar state laws have been enacted in Arizona and Tennessee. Alabama has created a Joint Interim Patriotic Immigration Commission to figure out some comprehensive approach to undocumented immigrants