Two Northern Virginia counties that took highly publicized stances against illegal immigration saw their number of foreign-born residents decline last year, while one of their neighbors saw its immigrant population go up.
In 2007, the immigrant population dropped about 1 percent in Loudoun County and 6 percent in Prince William County, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2007, which was released Sept. 23.
However, in Fairfax County, where leaders have been less willing to place restrictions on illegal immigration, the foreign-born population went up 7 percent last year. In addition, Fairfax saw its number of residents who are not U.S. citizens—which includes legal immigrants—increase 8 percent, while Prince William’s noncitizen population dropped 4 percent and Loudoun’s remained relatively unchanged.
Grabbing most the headlines has been Prince William and the aggressive stance its leaders have taken against illegal immigration. However, some Loudoun leaders were just as vocal in 2007 about making the county less hospitable to people in the country illegally.
Aside from stepping up their enforcement of illegal boarding houses, leaders in Fairfax have been less inclined to propose such extreme measures.