Anti-immigration lobbyists' "field study" funded by taxpayer dollars

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Linda Chavez:
The wording of the Resolution here in Prince William County says: "Whereas the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors has determined that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this County..." And I want to know how it was the Board went about determining that because it seemed that there was very little fact finding prior to the Board's consideration of this measure.
And I just wanted to know what the empirical evidence was of that impact; not people's feelings. 
But what empirical data did you pull together to determine this lawlessness -- I'm looking at a chart that suggests, for example, that crime has gone down. 
Was it the facts that were motivating you? Or was it something else?

Corey Stewart:
You're trying to say that John Stirrup and myself simply went about this without doing our homework. 
No I'm just asking a question, Mr. Stewart, perhaps you can answer it.
I'm trying to lay the...we did look at the impacts on the community and the thing to remind yourself here is that the community identified this issue. 
The community identified the problem on the streets in terms of crime.
The community identified issues in the neighborhoods with housing overcrowding.

Annabel Park (narrator)
It was very revealing that Chairman Stewart couldn't offer any facts.
He could only cite the claims made by what he referred to as "the community." 

Eric Byler (film director, Prince William County resident)
When they described the population that they wanted to remove, they would use these kinds of reasons:
Speaking Spanish, playing Latin music, owning a chicken, growing corn, not having health insurance, or living in crowded conditions. 
These are not a sign of your immigration status; this is the sign of a particular immigrant community that is struggling to overcome poverty. 

Annabel Park (narrator)
But the true revelation came with the testimony of Mike Hethmon, lead attorney for FAIR, and Dan Stein, it's President. 
FAIR is a national anti-immigration lobbying organization, classified as a Hate Group by Southern Poverty Law Center, and as a Nativist Extremist group by the Anti-Defamation League. 

Dan Stein (FAIR, IRLI):
Foreign appearance, foreign language, these kinds of indicia can be considered in the totality of the circumstance analysis. You can't enforce immigration laws without inconveniencing some people. But nevertheless, this idea that because we lack certain facts is therefore an argument not to act is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Michael Hethmon (FAIR, IRLI):
And I am the drafter of this ordinance. It's on our website. Professor Chishti's little book that he passed out yesterday about this problem nationally, all the statutes cited in there, they do come out of our shop.
So to the extent that there is some kind of mad scientist behind all this, we'll be happy to take credit for this. 

Annabel Park (interviewer):
So this is a laboratory right here?

Michael Hethmon (FAIR, IRLI)
I like to say it, I mean I didn't set it up but it's a ... or maybe it's a field study. I don't know what kind of scientific metaphor you wanna use. The Republican party is very worried in the coming up election and a year ago they were more worried, in the middle of the Iraq war and Bush's ratings plummeting.
Some of the Republicans said, "We've got to win out there in the heartland, you know, district by district, and we can't be too closely associated with this President."

Help Save Manassas, Mr. Letiecq, called us up and said you know, we want to do something. 
So we said, "Okay here's what we suggest." They approached Mr. Stirrup in particular, and I think at that point we heard Mr. Stewart and Mr. Stirrup talking about, "Well there seems to be a political interest in this but is this really a problem?"

And they started looking around and saying, "Well what do we know?" At that point they became interested in the idea as a political issue.

Annabel Park (interviewer)
You mean election related?

Michael Hethmon (FAIR, IRLI)
As election related.