Kafia Hosh, Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia), February 26, 2008
As a Stafford County task force tries to assess the effects of illegal immigration, some of its residents have started tackling the issue themselves.
Save Stafford is a group of about 90 residents who are exerting pressure on the state and county to crack down on illegal immigration.
Mark Jaworowski, 52, a Hampton Oaks resident, is a co-founder of the group.
He said he started Save Stafford because the federal government has ignored the anti-illegal-immigration sentiment in the country.
Since the group’s launch in October, Save Stafford members have attended the Illegal Immigration Task Force’s public hearings about Stafford’s undocumented population. The task force includes members from county agencies such as Social Services, schools, the Health Department and law enforcement.
The group wants Stafford to follow the lead of Prince William County, where officials recently voted to deny illegal immigrants county services.
But does Stafford County have an illegal-immigration problem? Jaworowski said he’s not sure. However, he said, overcrowded homes and driveways overflowing with cars are looming signs of a problem.
“When you have 20 people living in a home, there’s going to be sort of evidence of that,” Jaworowski said.
He said Save Stafford members are of diverse backgrounds, and include Indian, Chinese and Mexican immigrants.
“They’re ticked at illegal immigrants, or the country’s attitudes, because they were the ones that played by the rules,” Jaworowski said. “It took a long time for them to come here, and they don’t like the fact that others can jump in line and get ahead and demand certain rights.”