If anyone serving in the Virginia state house truly should be considered a “statesman,” Delegate Jackson Miller of Manassas fits the description. Click here to watch his speech from this morning.

He asks the key question which should be in everyone’s minds regarding the series of horrific crimes committed by illegal aliens in the Commonwealth:

Could it have been prevented?

As LI succinctly describes our public policy challenge:

With still too-high unemployment in this country and increasing levels of crime, it is far beyond time for government at all levels to seriously crack down on this problem.

The time has passed for Virginia’s residents and elected officials to be hoodwinked or bamboozled by those who would attempt to mitigate illegal alien crimes by conflating “immigrants” as a whole with illegal alien criminals. The time has passed for our public safety officers to be cowed when faced with the prospect of detaining a criminal illegal alien.

There was an illuminating article posted at BVBL a couple weeks ago about the illegal alien who raped a local 8-year-old girl. Like each instance mentioned in Delegate Miller’s speech, this perpetrator had been detained previously by local law enforcement but had been set free.

The blame for this catch-and-release policy toward criminals who happen to be in the country illegally does not fall solely on our justices and local law enforcement agencies. They are under serious pressure from elected officials and from outside “civil liberty” advocacy groups. It is even possible that one of our local government agencies could dedicate itself to enforcing laws already on the books, regarding matters such as zoning, and find itself the target of a lawsuit simply for attempting to enforce the rules.

Consequently, we have the current situation in which crimes committed by illegal aliens are glossed over by public officials – even when similar offenses by legal residents would be prosecuted according to the law.

In Delegate Miller’s words, the upshot of this arbitrary application of the law is communities “on fire” in Virginia. This is not going to play out as a verbal joust between advocacy organizations. The solution is not even going to depend on what our lawmakers accomplish in Richmond this month. What is going to happen is that the residents of Virginia are going to ask why our laws are applied selectively.

We should not give in to the temptation to diminish the role that immigrants play in our local community and our local economy. The solution to illegal alien crime is not so simple as pointing a finger at “the other” as the source of our problems. We especially should not paper over the fact that our prestigious Anglo-Saxon society has aborted 40 million people since 1973 yet somehow expects there to be a sufficient working population to haul the freight to pay social security expenses for all the baby boomers who will be retiring over the next 20 years and expecting benefits for 40 years. Without delving into a “he said, she said” between the white people and the brown people, it is safe to say one group has done a much better job replacing itself than the other, and those on the low-birthrate side should be exceedingly grateful for those still having kids, and should be welcoming the latter into American society with open arms. We should be grateful for those who are willing to enrich us, and we should think hard about how to make American values understandable and accessible to the newcomers – and we should not be surprised if they carry banners saying “What part of ‘childless’ don’t YOU understand.”

Demographics is purely a numbers game. It is murdering Western Europe, Russia and Japan, and things look very dicey for China 50 years hence. The only reason the United States maintains a replacement-level reproduction rate of 2 kids for every couple is because of our Hispanic immigrants. The next time you see a Latino mother with several kids you should mutter “gracias” under your breath. [For more on this topic, peruse Ken Gronbach's Web site and read Mark Steyn's excellent book America Alone.]

Immigration has been immensely valuable to our country. As Delegate Miller states, the problem in Virginia is not with immigrants, but with an officially-sanctioned blind eye to crimes committed by illegal aliens. There has been a notion circulated that ANY focus on crimes committed by illegals will make those in the U.S. illegally afraid to cooperate with law enforcement. This wrongheaded idea needs to be recognized as bogus. When someone commits a crime they need to be held to the absolute standard of local law. And local judges and law enforcement authorities need to have as their highest priority the safety of the residents in their communities. It is going to take a concerted effort by the community to allow this to happen – to allow the local police and sheriff’s departments to treat all the bad guys equally. If I got a DUI tomorrow you can bet I would be punished, incarcerated and tracked accordingly; there is no reason an illegal alien should be given a free pass for the same offense.

If the reason our public officials are afraid to apply the law to illegal aliens is because they are afraid of “civil liberty” organizations, then we all need to do a better job exposing these organizations: who they are, how they are funded, and where they impose their influence on our local governments. As our communities burn, there should be more and more of us taking an active interest in public policy.