The Immigration Conflict in Prince William County, Virginia: Analysis and Recommendations Jack W. Turner George Mason University





The Immigration Conflict in Prince William County, Virginia: Analysis and Recommendations In 2007, a conflict over immigration law in Prince William County, Virginia rose out of public reaction to the county board’s enactment of a new policy that called for local police to enforce immigration procedures that usually are handled by federal immigration agencies. The new procedure empowered the Prince William County Police Department force to ask for, and verify, the immigration status of any individuals they suspected of being illegal immigrants. County board officials called the new policy a necessary action because their constituents demanded it, and because Congress had failed to reform federal immigration laws that would have given protection against illegal immigrants to the county’s communities (Miroff, 2007a). This analysis of the Prince William County immigration conflict has four goals: 1) Identify the main parties in the conflict and their interests; 2) identify underlying root causes of the conflict; 3) evaluate the interests served and benefits of the conflict; 4) and to offer a basic plan for a conflict resolution involving both sides. Aspects of Wehr’s mapping model (1979) are used to position the parties involved, their interests, and their fears. Evidence from conflicting parties public discourse and actions, along with comparative demographic and economic data, provides evidence for underlying causes of the conflict. Finally, the analysis offers a social construction process for changing negative perceptions and bringing the divergent interests of both sides closer together (Gray, 1997).



Background The Prince William County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on July 10, 2007, making the Prince William County Police Department responsible for illegal immigration enforcement. They were given official power to verify the immigration status of any individuals they suspected of being in the country illegally. On April 29, 2008, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors softened police procedures by making it mandatory to verify immigration status only for individuals actually arrested. It is noted in public Prince William County Police Department documents that police officers still have the discretion (author’s emphasis) to verify immigration status under almost any circumstances (Prince William County Police Department, 2009). According to Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors’ hearing before the vote on the new immigration policy drew the most people a hearing ever had in Prince William County history. Miroff reported that a very heated, emotional dialogue occurred, and that many legal immigrants were afraid of what would happen to them if the resolution passed. Accusations of racism, elitism, and xenophobia flew from one side of the argument, while claims that illegal immigrants abused weak immigration laws, increased violent crime, and used county services they did not pay for flew from the other side (Miroff, 2007a). Since the new policy was voted in, the national economy declined, Prince William County has had the highest foreclosure rate in Virginia (Gharib, 2008), and, from anecdotal evidence, thousands of Hispanics left Prince William County (Mack, 2009).

Hispanic and African-Americans surveyed about the Prince William County Police Department voiced their dissatisfaction, and Police Chief Deane attributed this reaction to the new immigration policy. Finally, in an interview a year and half after the controversy began, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart openly admitted that the immigration vote was more about stirring up strong emotions than creating sound policy (Mack, 2009). Unemployment, Crime, and Illegal Immigrants A few facts help focus the reality of illegal immigrants and their economic effect on Prince William County. First of all, overall unemployment in Prince William County has been one of the lowest in the nation since 1990, even during the current economic downturn. Prince William County and Fairfax County, which bears demographic similarities to Prince William County, both have annual unemployment rates that are consistently lower by one to two percent than the state of Virginia’s average ,and often four percent lower than the U. S. average (see Fig. 1, Appendix B, p.24). Meanwhile, median household incomes in Fairfax County and Prince William County during 2008 ranked number two and number sixteen in the nation respectively (see Table 6, Appendix B, p.24). If illegal immigrants are taking jobs from legal residents of Prince William County, it is hard for this researcher to find data that proves it. As for crime and illegal immigrants, it is hard to ignore Butcher and Piehl’s research comparing American men and immigrants when it comes to criminal activity. They found that in California U.S.-born men, ages 18–40, have an institutionalization rate that is 10 times higher than that of foreignborn men. Further, they also studied crime rates from several

municipalities and found that crimes rates, especially violent crimes, actually decreased when the immigrant population increased (2008). Giving some corollary support to the California study are reports from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in North Carolina and from the Frederick County, Maryland Sheriff’s Department. The ACLU reports that in Gaston County, North Carolina, 83 percent of immigrants arrested by officers authorized to enforce immigrant laws have been arrested for simple traffic violations (Weissman, Ivey, Headen, & Parker, 2009). In Frederick County, Maryland, officers trained for immigration duty have arrested 285 foreigners in ten months, 262 for misdemeanors like driving without a license and traffic offenses (92 percent). Only five of the immigrants arrested in Frederick County are not Hispanic (Mcdonald, C. 2009). Main Parties to the Immigration Conflict The power players in the, Prince William County immigration conflict are the board of county supervisors, particularly John Stirrup, Gainesville District Supervisor, and Corey Stewart, chairman of the supervisor’s board. The resolution was Stirrup’s idea, and Stewart helped him implement it. The seven other supervisors appear to have gone along, by all reports. Next in line is Police chief Deane, who answers to the board. Last in the line of influence is the community of native – born Whites, who are reported to have demanded some action on illegal immigrants by the county board of supervisors (Miroff, 2007a & b). Local citizens hold significant power when their interests converge and they can cooperate together in a large, active group: Board members and the police have power individually and in numbers.

Because they are not directly involved in changing the immigration policy in Prince William County and they have no policing powers, advocates for a flexible immigration policy more favorable to undocumented workers are the weaker side of the conflict. They do have some political and financial resources and can argue in county government and state legislatures for more rights for immigrant workers (Martin & Johnson, 2007). Weakest of all are the illegal immigrants themselves, who have no legal rights unless they are able to hide their illegality. Some of the legal and activist groups advocating for immigrants in Virginia and Prince William County are the American Immigration Lawyers Association (Miroff, 2007b), American Immigration Law Foundation (Martin & Johnson, 2007), and Ayuda (Fitzgerald, 2008). Root Causes of the Conflict Cultural and Societal Security Nick Miroff says thousands of undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America have moved to Prince William between 1997 and 2007, encouraged by affordable housing and a boom in construction jobs (2007b). The Hispanic population in PWC was already increasing in 1990 and had more than quadrupled by 2007.The African-American population had almost doubled in the same time frame (see Table 3, Appendix A). When the discourse from advocates of strict immigration laws is analyzed alongside population data, a picture of lost territory and threatened culture comes into view (see Table 1, p.8-9). Native–born Whites in PWC appear to have felt a threat to their cultural values and social identity (Burton, 2009) (Tajfel, Billig, Bundy & Flament,1971).

The threat to their cultural and societal security gave the dominant White population something to fear and get angry about, and it appears that local politicians took advantage of the situation for political gain and power (Mack, 2009) . Stirrup made immflamatory remarks such as calling illegal immigrants a drain on county services that they did not pay taxes to support, and indicating that he would keep illegal immigrant’s children out of public schools if he could. The education remark is particularly striking since the question was settled in 1982 by the Supreme Court: all children go to school in the United States, no matter who their parents may be (Miroff, 2007 b). Social identity and cultural identity are said by Burton to be needs which human beings must have to live, and that people are willing to suffer much in order to maintain or gain these needs (1993).When the non-White population began increasing in Prince William County in the 1990’s, and then increased by six-fold from roughly 1997 to 2007, local native-born felt threatened and uneasy. You can hear it in their discourse (see Table 1). Statements like "I'm tired of pressing ‘1’ for English" on the phone” and “If we don’t act on illegals, we are saying our language, our culture, our Constitution, our neighborhoods and our flag are inconsequential. It is a price I do not care to pay," clearly indicate threat, fear, and anger(Miroff, 2007a) regarding the “Other” (Tajfel, Billig, Bundy & Flament,1971). (see Table 1, p.8-9). On the immigrant side of the conflict, the discourse is also angry and fearful. Statements such as : "How are we supposed to survive here?" and Your house will be like a prison. People will be dying of fear (Miroff, 2007 a & b)" clearly indicate a perceived threat, fear, and anger as well. Pruitt and Kim labeled this a contentious conflict, both

sides trying for some advantage to protect their interests and gain power (Pruitt & Kim , 2004a). Unemployment and Perceived Injustice Considering the facts about unemployment and median household incomes in Prince William County, it is clear that native-born Whites and others who have settled have lived comfortably for some time. It is understandable that a threat to this well-being would be taken seriously. However, it is unmistakably the legal residents of Prince William County who have the power to create fear in any immigrants who may challenge their cultural and social identities. Another aspect of this conflict is the perspective on injustice from each side. Deutsch named several types of perceived injustice, and the types predominant in the Prince William County conflict appear to be distributive injustice, moral exclusion injustice, retributive injustice, and a sense of injustice. Prince William natives think the distribution of jobs, property, and cultural and social spaces, are being taken away by immigrants. Natives morally exclude immigrants when they state that the county is not responsible for immigrant children’s education or medical services. They seek retribution for their sense of injustice by making restrictive immigration laws to keep the illegal immigrants out (Deutsch, 2006). Hispanic immigrants have many of the same perceptions and feelings. Why shouldn’t they get a job if there are plenty to go around? The immigration laws keep good workers away while not enough Americans want to work the hard jobs. Why shouldn’t their children be able to go to school? A definite sense of injustice, anger, and fear of retribution is voiced on the immigrant side of the issue (Deutsch, 2006)(see Table 1).

Table 1. Discourse of Advocates for Strict Immigration Policy in PCW 2007 John Stirrup, PWC District Supervisor: a. Illegal immigration is causing "economic hardship and lawlessness" in Prince William. The measure "is the first step towards taking back our community."1."Citizens want action." 2 Table 1.cont. b. "If they're here illegally, we have no responsibility to educate them". 2 c. Stirrup was berated for a joke he made to Corey Stewart in which Stirrup suggested a "Hispanic flag" could be flown in Woodbridge, which has a large Hispanic community. 1 Sue Fleming, a member of the group Help Save Manassas: “If we don’t act on illegals, we are saying our language, our culture, our Constitution, our neighborhoods and our flag are inconsequential. It is a price I do not care to pay." 1 Chris King, Woodbridge resident: "I'm tired of pressing ‘1’ for English" on the phone. 1 Kris Kobach, a law professor and former immigration adviser to U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft: The resolution is not "extraordinary." 2 John Stirrup, PWC District Supervisor: “These people, being in the United States illegally are, in fact, criminals.” 4 Discourse of Advocates for Flexible Immigration Policy in PCW 2007 Gregorio Calderón, a legal U.S. resident from El Salvador: "How are we supposed to survive here?" asked "They're going to pull me over just for being Hispanic." 1 Hank Azais, whose business caters to Hispanics: Immigrants "have built our homes; they have built our roads." 1 Harry Wiggins, a Lake Ridge resident: "Prince William County does not have to become the racist capital of America." 1 Millie, moved to Prince William 14 years and stayed illegally: "I don't know how people will live in this country. Your house will be like a prison. People will be dying of fear." 2 Kathleen Walker, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association: Denying immigrant children entry into public schools would violate the 1982 Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe, which prohibits states from denying education to undocumented immigrants”.2 Tulio Diaz, a native of Puerto Rico who has lived in PWC since 1972:"It's an election year, and it's a great wedge issue," he said. "So who do you pick on?" 2

Ben Johnson, executive director for the American Immigration Law Foundation: almost all public benefits in

the United States already.”4
Sources:1 Miroff, N.;(2007a); 2 Miroff, N. (2007 b) 3 Mack, K.( 2009);4 Martin, M. & Johnson, B. (2007).

Ironically, it was apparently the failing economy that has brought some of the anti-immigrant fervor to a quiet murmur for a while. In the public discourse of Corey Stewart and others on both sides of the issue, there seems to be agreement that the county board of supervisors acted too vigorously. When Stewart says, “The debate about illegal immigration is over,” it is a little hard to understand after the time, energy, and resources it took to get the policy implemented in the first place(see Table 2 below). Table 2. Discourse of Advocates for Strict Immigration Policy in PCW 2009 Corey Stewart, Chairman of PWC Board of Supervisors: a. “My mindset has changed a little bit. When you’re a district supervisor, it’s easy to be a bomb thrower and not worry about the consequences. I have to be a consensus builder now.” 3 b. "I know [Police Chief Deane] has lingering angst about [the immigration policy]. The debate about illegal immigration is over.(Author’s emphasis)" 3 Maureen S. Caddigan, PWC District Supervisor: "There are no positions for [Stewart] to run for, so it's a good time to work together and govern."3 Table 2. cont. Supervisor John D.Jenkins: "Corey was so badly damaged politically because of his actions on immigration," "He is trying to put that tarnished image away”. 3 Discourse of Advocates for Flexible Immigration Policy in PCW 2009

Claire Gastañaga, immigrant group representative: The 2007 legislative races in Virginia confirmed that illegal immigration is not a "magic carpet you can ride into office. Many of the folks who were carrying the measures realized it wasn't to their political benefit." 3

Sources: 1 Miroff, N. (2007 a); 2 Miroff, N. (2007 b); 3 Mack, K.( 2009) 4 Martin, M. & Johnson, B. (2007).

This conflict is based on significant identity issues and could easily flare up again, or could be manipulated to do so by motivated parties. Steps can be taken to assimilate immigrants more into Prince William’s native-born population while at the same time the local citizens gain some appreciation for their new neighbors. Dave Gorak, Executive Director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration, gave his opinion on Mark Fisher’s Washington Post website. He wrote,” Eleven million Americans cannot find fulltime jobs at the same time seven million illegals are permitted to remain in our work force. I'd say that still makes illegal immigration a "big issue (2009).” Advocates for new immigrants should not ignore Mr.Gorak’s opinion , but should respect it by continuing to explore the most constructive ways to bring the immigrants out of conflict with local citizenry. Conflict Resolution: A Process Saunders stated that “public dialogues are important and effective for understanding and changing relationships between conflicting parties, and changing narrow thinking such as stereotypes. Unofficial public discourse can also influence adversaries acceptance of each others identities(1996).” In 2008, Fairfax County Police Chief David M. Rohrer was honored for his continuing efforts to maintain close communication throughout the Hispanic communities he oversees. The immigrant advocacy group Ayuda, during their 35th anniversary celebration, honored Chief Rohrer for his “sound and just policies to protect all residents of Fairfax County, including

vulnerable immigrant victims of crime. "I don't believe we should be involved in everyday immigration enforcement, “ said Rohrer, “My Board of Supervisors believes the same as I do. We target behaviors (Fitzgerald).” As noted before, Prince William County and Fairfax County share similar demographics. They are approximately the same size, 360 square miles and 395 square miles respectively (Prince William County Government, 2009)( Fairfax County Government, 2009) and have similar unemployment rates (see Fig. 1, Appendix B, p. 24).They also both enjoy higher than average median household incomes (see Table 6, Appendix B, p. 24) and have significant immigrant populations (see Tables 3 & 4, Appendix A, p. 22). Fairfax County is more of an inner suburb and has a population about two and half times that of Prince William: So, even though Prince William has a higher percentage of non-Whites, Fairfax County has higher numbers of non-whites due to its density. Prince William County experienced a significantly larger and more rapid rise in Hispanic residents from 1997 to 2007 than Fairfax County. Prince William County residents who felt threatened by immigrants may have been alarmed by the perception of a non-native culture that seemed to be sweeping away their own American identity. It is important to note that perceptions, not facts, are the basis for the emotional turmoil of the immigration conflict. Non-adherence to these perceptions and stereotypes may be one way to start changing the “Us vs. Them” mentality that accompanies cultural and social identity conflicts (Burton, 1993; Tajfel, Billig, Bundy & Flament,1971). One place where Hispanics and other immigrants are being trusted, respected, and depended upon in earnest right now is in the American military services. Miriam Kagan

has reported that while Hispanic soldiers account for nine and a half percent of active enlisted forces, they make up seventeen and a half percent of frontline forces in Iraq. Since George Bush signed an executive order on July 2, 2002, foreign-born individuals have been able to apply for “fast-track” ´citizenship if they serve in the U.S. military (2003). In 2008, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services reported that it had naturalized 41,00 members of the armed services since “the beginning of the War on Terror”. People who have served in the military, especially those who have endured combat, have a natural affinity with one another across cultural barriers. This would seem like a good starting point for creating trust and understanding between non-native citizens and the dominant White culture in Prince William County. Using constructive communication models like those proposed by Fisher-Yoshida and Wasserman, veterans across cultures and social identities could begin with sharing war stories and be encouraged by facilitators, in an appropriate time frame, to share personal histories about their families, beliefs, and values (2006).Using constructive teaching methods suggested by Gray, these veterans could create their own system of understanding each other and the world around them. At some point they could begin the creation of their own groups’ shared narrative (1997). The Prince William County Government lists nine veteran’s clubs or chapters operating in the county by The American Legion, Veterans of foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans (1999). The Hispanic veteran’s organization, The American GI Forum, operates its national chapter in nearby Washington, DC. The American GI Forum has over 60 years of experience advocating for Hispanic veterans and Hispanic

immigrants, and could be a significant factor in creating cross-cultural understanding in Prince William County (2008). Recommendations for further resolution actions are listed in Appendix A, page 20. The researcher recommends concentrating on the veteran’s affinity for establishing trust and friendship first. There is no timeline attached to this activity: Veterans involved should be facilitated in exploring their histories with each other until the sharing feels comfortable and meaningful. Limitations and the Future This research applies to the Prince William County immigration conflict and may not generalize well to other conflicts. The discourse data used to ascertain main parties to the conflict and identify interests and perceived threat has not been collected by scientific standards and is not quantifiable. It serves a qualitative purpose only, and is subjective due to self-selection of participants in interviews and strong emotional content. A more rigorous survey method would be quite useful for future study of this and other immigration conflicts. This study of the immigration dispute in Prince William County is based on previous research by conflict and communication scholars, including Pruitt and Kim, Deutsch, Burton, Fisher-Yoshida and Wasserman, and Gray. It has examined discourse constructs created by the native-born White culture and Hispanic immigrant culture that have perpetuated biased perceptions in both groups. Both groups in this conflict would benefit from getting to know and understand each other in a non-hostile atmosphere. If the resolution plan is carried out as suggested, successful bonding across cultural boundaries could begin from veterans groups and branch further into both White

natives and Hispanic communities through the public school system and other social activities. An important part of this plan is for immigrants to understand and be aware of their ability to instill fear into the dominant white population. This is perhaps an often overlooked potential for empowering immigrants if the power can be wielded in a positive, constructive way. Finally, this conflict highlights the powerful nature of political leadership to “divide and conquer”. Racism, “Us vs. Them” boundaries, xenophobia, and identity politics appear to have been used solely for a political advantage by chairman Stewart – and manipulated skillfully by supervisor Stirrup. Creating stronger bonds between immigrant and native peoples in Prince William County could have the added benefit of a meaningful public debate without interference from political leaders.


References American GI Forum (2008). 2008LegislativeAgenda. Retrieved from http:// americangiforum.net/documents/2008-LegislativeAgenda.pdf. Burton, J W (1993). Conflict resolution as a political philosophy. In Conflict and Resolution in Practice: Integration and Application, Sandole, D, and Van der Merwe, H (Eds.).New York: Manchester University Press, 55-59. Burton, J. W. (2009). Burton’s needs theory: Nine basic needs. Retrieved from http://www.cw.utwente.nl/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%20clusters/ Interpersonal %20Communication%20and%20Relations/Social_Identity_ Theory.doc/. Butcher, K. F. & A. M. Piehl (2008). Crime, corrections, and California: What does immigration have to do with it? California Counts: Population Trends and Profiles, 9. 3. FEB 2008.Retrieved from http://www.ppic. org/main/ publication.asp?i=776. Deutsch, M. (2006). Justice and conflict. In The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory

and Practice, 2nd Edition. 43-54. Deutsch, M. Coleman, P. T. & Marcus, E. C. (Eds.)San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. 560-581. Fairfax County Government (2009). Fairfax County demographics. Retrieved from http:// www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/gendemo.htm, 1-3. Fisher, M. (2009). Voices. The Washington Post, February 6, 2009. Retrieved from http:// voices.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2009/02/down_nostalgia_lane_when_illeg. html. Fisher-Yoshida, B.& Wasserman, I. (2006). Moral conflict and engaging alternative perspectives. In The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition. Deutsch, M. Coleman, P. T. & Marcus, E. C. (Eds.) San Francisco:Jossey-Bass. 560-581. Fitzgerald, M. (June 19, 2008). Police Chief Col. David M. Rohrer honored by Ayuda. Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.fairfaxcounty .gov/news/2008/141.htm Gharib & Dhue(2008). Prince William County fights the foreclosure flood. Nightly Business Report, May 20, 2008 Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org /nbr/site/onair/transcripts/080520c/. Gray, Audrey (1997). Contructivist Teaching and Learning. SSTA Research Centre Report #97- 0, 3-6. Retrieved from http://www.pen.ntid.rit.edu/%5Cworkshops %5CTUT_Jun_02%5CSessions%5C7Curriculum_Content%5CPreWorkshop%20Materials%5CConstructivisit_Teaching_Learning.pdf. Kagan, M. (September 22,2003). Hispanic soldiers die in greater numbers in Iraq. Inter Press Service. Retrieved from http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0922

-02.htm. Mack, K.( 2009). Stewart softens tone, shifts focus from immigration to economy. The Washington Post, February 8, 2009; Page C06. Martin, M. & Johnson, B. (2007). Tell Me More NPR News. Retrieved from
http://www.npr. org/templates/story/ story.php?storyId=11868088.

Mcdonald, C. (February 18, 2009). The ICEman cometh: Montgomery County is no longer a haven for immigrants and their advocates. The Washington City Paper. Retrieved from http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=36826. Miroff, N. (2007a). Pr. William Passes Resolution Targeting Illegal Immigration Stricter Aspectsof Original Plan Are Softened. The Washington Post, July 11, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2007 /07/10/AR2007071002093. html. Miroff, N. (2007b). Police Would Have Wider Scope Over Immigrant Checks: Residency Rules May Tighten in Pr. William. The Washington Post, July 6, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/07/05/ AR2007070502151.html. Prince William County Government (2009). Demographics. Retrieved from http://www. pwcgov.org//demogrph/ Prince William County Government (1999). Prince william county clubs and organizations.Retrieved from http://www.pwcgov.org/eservices/clubs/Result.asp? KeywordString=Veterans. Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) (2009). An introduction. Retrieved
from http://www.pwcgov.org//default.aspx? topic=040074003460004636.

Pruitt & Kim (2004a). Strategic Choice. In Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement. Boston: McGeaw-Hill. 27-38 Pruitt & Kim (2004b). The intervention of third parties: Mediation In Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement. Boston: McGeaw-Hill. 208-221. Tajfel, H., Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P., & Flament, C. (1971). Social categorization and intergroup behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1(2), 149178. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (2008). Statistics. Fact Sheet: Naturalization through military service.Retrieved from http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis /menuitem. 5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=b821a9 c21014 9110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010Vg nVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD. Wehr, P. (1979). Wehr’s conflict map. From Conflict Regulation. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Retrieved from http://spot.colorado.edu/~wehr/40GD1.HTM. Weissman, D. M., Ivey, R. C., Headen,R. C., & Parker, K. L. (2009).The Policy and politics of local immigration enforcement: 287(g) program in North Carolina. American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation Immigration nd Human Rights Policy Clinic. Retrieved from http:// www .law.unc.edu/documents/ clinicalprograms/287gpolicyreview.pdf.

IMMIGRATION CONFLICT IN PRINCE WILLIAM APPENDIX A Recommendations for the Resolution Process 1.


Begin with getting veterans together to share war stories, stories of military life, and then personal family history. In the short term, this can provide an opening for Hispanics and non-Hispanics and to build some trust and bonding already endemic to military groups. In the long-term, it can encourage real friendship, respect, and concern for the the “Other,” culture. The ideal is that identities and value systems may be accepted, tolerated, and recognized across group boundaries.


Long-time immigrants can work with new immigrants and help integrate them into the local school system, where teachers will almost certainly appreciate the involvement and assistance from immigrant families. .


Understanding attitudes of native-born Americans in PCW and accepting them without hatred and fear would be very beneficial for all immigrants. Are new immigrants aware of the fear and anxiety their presence creates in the minds of the dominant culture? Are they aware that in some ways this is a source of power? Further, are they aware of the powerful changes they can exert when they break ethnic / racial stereotypes in their interactions with native-born Americans? This may sound like a bit of popular reverse psychology, but it can also be a way to frame relationships in a new light that eventually empowers both native and nonnative-born Americans to look at “Americanism”in a multi-cultural perspective.


Encourage new immigrants to be cooperative and friendly with local law enforcement. From Police Chief Rohrer’s experience, we can see that this kind of attitude is appreciated and recognized for its valuable contribution to protecting Hispanic neighborhoods and other communities as a whole.


Finally, new and longtime immigrants need help in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their various positions. Native-born Whites still hold the most political and economic power in PWC, and learning how to work and prosper with that situation is an important part to living well in PWC.

APPENDIX B Table 3. Percentage of Population by Race and Ethnicity, Prince William County,Virginia, 1990 – 2007 1990 % of Total 83.3% 11.6% 3.0% 4.5% 2000 % of Total 68.9% 18.8% 3.9% 9.7% 2007 % of Total 59.7% 19.7% 7.1% 19.2%

White Black/African American Asian/Pacific Islander Hispanic Origin (any race)

White Black/African American Asian/Pacific Islander Hispanic Origin (any race)

1990 % of Total 81.3% 7.7% 16.1% 6.3%

2000 % of Total 69.9% 8.6% 13.1% 11.0%

2007 % of Total 66.5% 9.5% 7.1% 13.6%

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1990 Census of Population and Housing, STF 1A; Census 2000 Summary File 1; 2007 American Community Survey. Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding and unrepresented populations.

Table 4. Percentage of Population by Race and Ethnicity, Fairfax County, Virginia, 1990 – 2007

Source: Fairfax County Government (2009). Economic and Demographic Information. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/gendemo.htm Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding and unrepresented populations.

APPENDIX B Table 5. Race and Ethnicity by Number & Percentage of Total Population in 2007 White Prince William County Total: 392, 900 Fairfax County Total: 1, 041, 507 Difference Difference 234, 561 59.7 % Total NonWhite 158, 338 40.3 % AfricanAmerican 77, 401 19.7% Hispanic/ Latino 75, 436 19.2% Asian/ Pacific Islander 27, 895 7.1%

692, 602 66.5%

348, 569 33.5%

98, 943 9.5%

141, 644 13.6%

167, 682 16.1%

458, 041 6.8%

190, 231 6.8%

21, 542 10.2%

66, 208 5.6%

139, 787 9.0%

SourceS: Fairfax County Government (2009). Economic and Demographic Information. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/gendemo.htmSources: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1990 Census of Population and Housing, STF 1A; Census 2000 Summary File 1; 2007 American Community Survey. Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding and unrepresented populations


Appendix B Table 6. Median Household Income, Prince William & Fairfax County, Virginia, 2008. Fairfax County Prince William County $110, 000 $88, 724 #2 in the nation #16 in the nation

Source: Median Household Income, Top 20 Counties in the United States, 2008. http://www.pwcgov.org/docLibrary/PDF/10978.pdf

Fairfax Co.

Figure 1. Average Annual Unemployment Rates 1990-2008, Prince William County, Virginia, United States. Fairfax County, Virginia 2000-2008
Source for Prince William County, Virginia, and United States: Virginia Employment Commission. LAUS data. http://www.pwcgov.org/docLibrary/PDF/10387.pdf Source for Fairfax County: Fairfax County Economic Indicators, June 2009. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/economic/economic_indicators.htm Note: Fairfax County data added by author.

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