Misquote or mixed message?

Jeremy Aldrich -- June 29th, 2007

Rockingham County Sheriff Don Farley as quoted in the WHSV story about local deputies taking training from ICE to more quickly “process” illegal immigrants:

“The people that are here, that are hardworking, paying the taxes that need to be paid, they’re a positive part of our society, I’m not worried about those,” says Farley.

Then just a few words later:

“Those that are here illegally, they’re preying on our society, they’re criminals. Those are the people that better understand that after August the 1st, there’s a much greater chance that they’re going to be going home,” says Farley. “And home is not Rockingham County or the city of Harrisonburg.”

6 Responses to “Misquote or mixed message?”

  1. Norma says:

    I say good for Farley! If you are here illegally, you don’t belong in this country. It’s pretty simple. There are ways to come here legally. Many millions of people have done it over the years. I don’t care if you are working at one of the poultry plants or local farms. There are work visas that can be obtained. I praise Sheriff Farley for being proactive and doing what congress is too afraid to do!

  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    Jack: That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.

    Algernon: The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

    From the Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde.

  3. Gxeremio says:

    Without getting back into the debate over immigration generally, which has been hashed over many times on this blog, my question is does Sheriff Farley intend to go after people for being undocumented immigrants, or wait until they’ve committed some crime that would normally cause them to interact with the police? Are we going to see roadblocks checking for papers? Busts at Guzman’s? The first quote above suggests not, but the second quote suggests it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

    And a secondary question: what about undocumented immigrants who might interact with the police for reasons other than committing a crime, such as reporting crimes, serving as witnesses, or in community outreach events? Do they need to avoid Rockingham County deputies from now on?

  4. eso says:

    Those are great ideas Gxeremio! I hope you contact Farley with them! ;)

  5. cook says:


    I have heard individuals – including in local law enforcement – make statements similar to the sheriff’s quotes which you think are contradictory. If you dig deeper, however, those individuals usually believe that the percentage of local immigrants who are undocumented is quite low and that the “illegals” are “the criminal element” who hide out among “the legal immigrant community.” If that were the case, then the sheriff’s comments would present no problem at all.

  6. eso says:

    Cook: If that is true, they are not considering it well at all. The Pew Hispanic Center ( ala Pew Research Center ) estimated the Hispanic population in the US in 2006 to be 44.7 Million. The illegal population in the US is estimated to be anywhere from 11 million upwards of 20 million, almost entirely from Mexico and various Latin America countries. That is roughly 1 of every 4 Hispanics being illegal up to nearly 1 of every 2 Hispanics being illegal. Hardly a low percentage. They can, of course, believe what they wish to, but it doesn’t correspond to reality.

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