Manassas, Virginia hasn’t seen this much action since 1862. Next week Jorge Bustamante, the UN special rapporteur on migrant rights, arrives on official business. Of the 191 million migrants around the world, those pouring into this D.C. commuter town of 35,000 somehow deserve international attention.
The Mexican-born Bustamante isn’t exactly an objective observer. He has called Republican immigration policies “immoral” and has argued for an “initiative that will facilitate permanent Mexican residents in the United States to become citizens of that country, so their increasing number will translate in a real possibility of more votes.” He supports immigrants’ rights to “defend the interests of Mexico in whichever country they reside.” Bad news for Manassas.
As real-estate prices ballooned in the metro Washington area, local exurbs saw major influxes in their immigrant populations. Last July, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors answered by denying county services to illegal immigrants and permitting police officers to check the status of suspected illegals questioned for crimes or stopped for traffic violations. That got the new arrivals’ attention. Since the measure passed, attendance in local English-language programs has dropped by 750 students—and now the UN is dropping in.
If Bustamante is true to form, he’ll be as appalled as he was last year when he toured seven other American cities and ruled that the U.S. was violating international law and human-rights standards. But Manassas’ residents aren’t plotting genocide or condoning tyranny. They just want their government to enforce its own laws. They don’t hate immigrants, they love their home—and think those who share it might care to know who won the battles of Bull Run.