FNC Highlights UVA Study That Shows Enforcing Immigration Laws Decreases Violent Crime

 On Thursday’s Fox and Friends, FNC hosts Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy gave attention to a University of Virginia study which found that, since Prince William County in Virginia became more strict in dealing with illegal immigrants in 2007, the jurisdiction has enjoyed a substantial drop in crime - including a 32 percent drop in violent crime - while neighboring Fairfax County has seen crime levels remain steady.

Introducing an interview with Prince William County board of supervisors chairman Corey Stewart, co-host Doocy began: "Back in 2007, Prince William County in Virginia became the first large jurisdiction in the country to adopt a strict immigration enforcement policy. That move was widely criticized."

Co-host Carlson added: "But a new study by the University of Virginia shows crime has dropped since the policy went into effect. ... After a three-year study, here's some of the stuff that's happening: 41 percent drop in the hit-and-run accidents; 46.7 percent decrease in aggravated assaults."

After noting that the University of Virginia and other "neutral organizations" were behind the study, guest Stewart informed viewers that violent crime had dropped substantially in his county compared to neighboring Fairfax County. Stewart:

Well, you know, more than anything, it saved us lives. And we had a 32 percent drop in our overall violent crime rate in Prince William County. Prince William County, by the way, very large county. Second largest county in Virginia. And in Fairfax County, neighboring Fairfax County, they had a stable crime rate, and Prince William County's dropped by 32 percent over the same period of time.

Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Thursday, November 18, Fox and Friends on FNC:

STEVE DOOCY: Back in 2007, Prince William County in Virginia became the first large jurisdiction in the country to adopt a strict immigration enforcement policy. That move was widely criticized. We've talked about that right here on this program. 

GRETCHEN CARLSON: But a new study by the University of Virginia shows crime has dropped since the policy went into effect. Corey Stewart is the chairman of the board of supervisors for Prince William County, Virginia, and he’s our guest this morning. Good morning to you.

COREY STEWART, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Good morning, Gretchen.

CARLSON: All right, so these are amazing stats. After a three-year study, here's some of the stuff that's happening: 41 percent drop in the hit-and-run accidents; 46.7 percent decrease in aggravated assaults. You say that's because of your policy?

STEWART: Well, actually, it's not just from me. It's knowledge from the University of Virginia. James Madison University also took part in this study, and the Police Executive Research Forum concluded that the drop in aggravated assaults and hit-and-runs in particular was due to the crackdown on illegal immigration in Prince William County. These are neutral organizations that have now concluded that cracking down on illegal immigration drops crime.

DOOCY: Okay, so, Corey, for folks who are unfamiliar with what you folks are doing out there, how are you cracking down?

STEWART: Well, it’s a pretty simple thing. If you break the law and if you’re arrested for any crime - it can be shoplifting, it could be drunk in public - we mandate that our police officers check your immigration status, and, if you are, in fact, an illegal immigrant, you serve our time in jail, serve your time in jail and then you’re handed over to ICE for deportation.

CARLSON: What has been the relationship between you and ICE? Because we've done countless interviews on this show where if, in fact, the city or the county is tough on illegal immigration, ICE isn't.

STEWART: Well, the men and women who work at ICE are just fine. They're doing a good job. The problem is the political leadership over there, Morton is terrible. They are essentially have established an amnesty policy by default. They issued an employment authorization card to someone who they knew was an illegal immigrant earlier this summer. That person went out, then got a Virginia driver's license and killed a nun. That was just this past summer. So that's what's going on at the political leadership at ICE.

DOOCY: And I understand that, and it's reflected in this UVA study, a significant number of illegals - because you were cracking down - left the jurisdiction. So I would imagine that probably ultimately saved you some money, didn't it?

STEWART: Well, you know, more than anything, it saved us lives. And we had a 32 percent drop in our overall violent crime rate in Prince William County. Prince William County, by the way, very large county. Second largest county in Virginia. And in Fairfax County, neighboring Fairfax County, they had a stable crime rate, and Prince William County's dropped by 32 percent over the same period of time.

CARLSON: Let me ask you this. We're all familiar with the federal government suing the state of Arizona for trying to crack down on illegal immigration. Have they come after you or is it different?

STEWART: Well, they did early on. In 2007, we were sued by a couple of liberal groups, and our policy, unlike Arizona's, withstood the scrutiny. It was upheld by judge Cacheras (sp?) in federal district court judge in Alexandria, Virginia, so we've got a legally sound policy which we now believe is effective and that can be safely replicated across other jurisdictions across the country.

DOOCY: And now the University of Virginia has verified that information. All right, Corey Stewart, from Prince William County down in Virginia, thank you, sir, for joining us live.