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Virginia’s Fairfax County is paying the price for Biden’s border crisis

Stephanie Lundquist-Arora is a contributor for The Washington Examiner, a mother in Fairfax County, Virginia, an author, and the Fairfax chapter leader of the Independent Women’s Network. This piece originally appeared on Washington Examiner.


Earlier this week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to signal he is interested in doing something to address the crisis at the southern border. But it is too little, too late.

Prior to his realization that the porous southern border is a top concern in voters’ minds, Biden could not be bothered to discuss the national security problem of illegal immigration. He ignored cities facing rising crime and homelessness despite mayors’ pleas for help. Biden further said after his State of the Union address in March that he regretted using the term “illegal” to describe an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela who allegedly killed Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student in Georgia.

Crime across the country has increased with the surge of illegal immigrants crossing Biden’s open border. Customs and Border Protection reports that from fiscal 2021 through April 2024, there have been almost 10 million border encounters. It is also unknown how many terrorists and spies have crossed over with the criminals and those many others just seeking a better life.

While Biden’s actions have led us to this point, the voters’ concerns appear to have his attention now. In a tight race during a presidential election year, Biden is finally pretending to care and perhaps forgetting that he manufactured this national crisis by enabling a multiyear invasion at the border.

Locally, his about-face does not undo the harm the porous border has caused residents in Fairfax County, Virginia. While Democrats such as Rachel Maddow and Jen Psaki mocked Virginia voters for worrying about the consequences of mass illegal immigration in March, Fairfax County residents genuinely are feeling the burden. In April, we learned that Fairfax County, a sanctuary county for illegal immigrants, repeatedly released a Honduran man charged with sex crimes against a child.

Being a sanctuary county means that the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center does not honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations’ immigration detainers. Despite the fact that ICE had stated the Honduran noncitizen “represented a threat to the children of the Washington, D.C. area,” Fairfax County released the man from custody on a $10,000 bond on July 10, 2023.

Not only are we honoring the protection of illegal immigrants above the safety of our children, but Fairfax County’s taxpayers are also paying substantial amounts of money to educate the children of the illegal immigrants moving to the county. As Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors voted again this year to increase our taxes, residents began taking a closer look at the education budget, which accounts for more than half of the county’s spending.

Illegal immigration is partially responsible for the school district’s ballooning budget and higher taxes. Per-pupil expenditures have increased significantly because of the need for English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, teachers. The number of students who are not proficient in English has increased by 5% since fiscal 2020. Unsurprisingly, expenditures on ESOL teachers increased with the school district’s non-English speaking students. The fiscal 2024 expenditure on ESOLs in Fairfax County was $141.7 million, up from $118.7 million in fiscal 2023 and $93.9 million in fiscal 2019.

As it turns out, being a leader who opts for a sanctuary county or country has consequences. In Fairfax County, our leaders release criminals onto our streets who threaten the safety of our children. We further watch helplessly as our locally elected officials increase our tax burden to support a sanctuary in spite of our objections. Meanwhile, at the federal level, Biden has cleared the way for millions of illegal immigrants to cross our border, and he is far too close to the iceberg to alter course now.

Biden’s problem? Voters are not as dumb as he would like to believe.

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