Opinion

Corey Stewart Won’t Back Down On Immigration

(John Moore/Getty Images)

Corey Stewart Candidate for Virginia Governor

When you receive national recognition for leading the nation’s toughest crackdown on illegal immigration and serving as Donald Trump’s Virginia State Chairman, you get used to being falsely labeled as racist and xenophobic by the mainstream media, especially by The Washington Post’s editorial board, which has labeled me as such things for years.

On Sunday, they intentionally mischaracterized my statements on criminal illegal immigrants by omitting the word “criminal” in the following quote:  “if you’re an illegal alien in Prince William County, I’d get out,” continuing, “we’re going to find out where each and every one of these guys is, and we’re going to hunt them down and we’re going to deport them.”.

Here are the facts: In 2007, I led Prince William County in adopting a policy of (1) inquiring into the immigration status of every person arrested for a crime; and (2) implementing the federal 287(g) program, which deputizes County Jail officers to determine the immigration status of every inmate. If found illegal, the county initiates the deportation process and, after serving their sentences, illegal alien inmates are turned over to ICE for deportation. So far, approximately 7,500 illegal alien criminals have been handed over by Prince William County.  Our crime rate then plummeted and is now at the lowest rate in 24 years.

Illegal aliens who plan on committing crimes are no longer doing it in Prince William. Since the law was implemented in 2008, we’ve turned over an average of just under 1,000 criminal illegal aliens to ICE for the first few years. In 2015, we turned over 512 and the number will be even lower for 2016. Violent Crime–classified as murders, rapes, aggravated assault, and robbery — was reduced by a staggering 48.7% after only 5 years. That same year, surrounding localities (Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier) saw a 27% increase in violent crime. It’s not a coincidence.

It must be hard for the Post’s editors who live in swanky neighborhoods in Northwest D.C. to understand what families in Prince William were enduring.  But imagine if these criminal illegal aliens were plaguing their neighborhoods.  Do you think they would change their tune?

One problem we have faced is this: Neither the Obama nor Bush Administration would disclose to us what they did with these criminals after we handed them over. But as 10% of these criminals have been rearrested for additional crimes, we suspect that many, perhaps most, were simply let go. This will stop under the Trump Administration.

The Post seems to think my strong stance on illegal alien criminals will be a liability in my run for Governor of Virginia.  But while other Republicans running countywide in Prince William County have lost, I’ve continued to win by double-digit margins.  This in spite of the fact that the County — with 450,000 residents in Northern Virginia–is majority-minority and twice voted heavily for Obama.

So let me clarify: if you’re an illegal alien in Virginia planning to commit a crime, I would get out. Yes, this is what you do with criminals who not only broke the law by coming into our country illegally but committed a crime while here–you hunt them down, arrest them, and deport them. This is not racism, it’s common sense and good policy. This is about protecting law abiding citizens from criminals who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. Trump will be America’s law and order President and I look forward to working with him as the law and order Governor of Virginia.

Corey Stewart is the former Virginia Chairman of the Donald Trump campaign, Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County, Virginia, and 2017 candidate for Virginia Governor. Corey Stewart is best know for what the mainstream media called the “toughest crackdown on illegal immigration in the nation” in 2007. Prince William County is located in Northern Virginia, and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second largest county with a population of just under 500,000 residents.