The anti-immigrant sentiment that swept across the country in 2006—leaving in its wake hard-line activist groups and anti-immigrant ordinances in a handful of localities—seemed to hit the wealthy Northern Virginia exurbs a year late. But efforts by Virginia’s Republican Party to ride the anti-immigrant wave to last month’s off-year elections did not pan out, as the party lost control of the state Senate. Nevertheless, the suburban vigilantes persist, and they’re now forming a statewide lobbying group and political action committee:
Greg Letiecq, president of the group Help Save Manassas and a co-founder of Save the Old Dominion, said … “What is missing is the engagement of regular citizens in legislative process[.] The only people who showed up last year [to lobby the General Assembly] was the illegal alien lobby.” …
Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, has said the grass-roots efforts of Help Save Manassas were instrumental in drumming up support for a resolution adopted by county officials on July 10 that restricts public services for illegal aliens. Mr. Letiecq said organizers hope to replicate their success on a statewide level.
“Hopefully, we can do that in Richmond and make sure they are listening to citizens as much as special interests,” he said.