March 30, 2008

In N.Va., a Latino Community Unravels -

This is terrible news for many reasons, not the least of which is my concern that it will indicate the end of the Gran Jaripeo rodeo and concert series at the Manassas fairgrounds (where both Los Tigres del Norte and Los Huricanes del Norte played last summer).

In N.Va., a Latino Community Unravels - "A vibrant Latino subculture built in Prince William County over more than a decade is starting to come undone in a matter of months.

With Latinos fleeing the combined effects of the construction downturn, the mortgage crisis and new local laws aimed at catching illegal immigrants, Latino shops are on the brink of bankruptcy, church groups are hemorrhaging members, neighborhoods are dotted with for-sale signs, and once-busy strip malls have been transformed into ghost towns."

this being a good case of a come-uppetance for the the intolerant administration of Prince William County (a place not exactly know for its racial tolerance over the years, to be sure):

County officials who have campaigned for months to drive out illegal immigrants say they would be unhappy to see businesses suffer or legal immigrants forced out in the process.

"But I believe the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks," said Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Board of County Supervisors and a leading advocate of the new policy allowing police to check the immigration status of people stopped for other violations. "And there will continue to be . . . a thriving Latino community in the county into the future."

At least for the moment, however, to travel through Prince William's Latino enclaves is to witness scene after scene of a community's transformation.

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