UN Official to Visit Prince William to Study Illegal-immigration Policy

Dan Genz, Washington Examiner, June 5, 2008

The United Nations plans to examine Prince William County’s aggressive crackdown on illegal immigrants during a visit next week.

Jorge Bustamante, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on migrants’ rights, plans to tour Manassas and Woodbridge, receive briefings on local enforcement measures, and attempt to meet with local officials.

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A Mexican native and Notre Dame University sociology professor, Bustamante has reviewed treatment of migrants in Guatemala and Mexico and toured the United States during a three-week review of American immigration policies last year.

County Chairman Corey Stewart said he is willing to meet with Bustamante, but sharply rebuked the international body for what he called an anti-American agenda.

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Hundreds of legal and illegal immigrants have moved out of the county to avoid the policy, leading to a drop of more than 750 students in the county’s public school programs for English-language learners.

Prince William County’s measures deserve more scrutiny, said Kent Willis, executive director of the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union. “It is serving as a model of what not to do when it comes to addressing immigrant issues at a local level,” he said.

But the United Nations should not have a role, said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “Our immigration policy is not a subject for the U.N. or any foreign institution, pure and simple.”

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