Category Archives: Immigration

A Mean-Spirited Amendment

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The 2021 General Assembly passed legislation that made students who fall into the “DACA” category (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), sometimes called the “Dreamers,” eligible for in-state tuition at Virginia institutions of higher education.

To be eligible for in-state tuition regardless of citizenship or immigration status, an applying student must have:

  1. Attended high school in Virginia for at least two years;
  2. Graduated from high school on or after July 1, 2008; and
  3. Filed Virginia income tax returns ( by the student or parents) for at least two years prior to the college application date.

Out of the funding provided for financial aid to students in higher education institutions in the budget bill it adopted, the General Assembly earmarked $5 million each year for DACA students.

Governor Youngkin submitted a budget amendment that “redirected” that funding to financial assistance for students attending Virginia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Those institutions would be Virginia State in Petersburg and Norfolk State in Norfolk. Continue reading

The Fiscal Challenge of Educating Immigrant Children

by James A. Bacon

Last week Victoria Manning, a member of the Virginia Beach school board, posted a comment on her Facebook page noting that the school system had added 300 additional English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students the past year, mostly from “South America.” The city’s ESL budget had increased more than $1 million over two years, she wrote. “Continuing to educate South Americans is not sustainable.”

Predictably, her comment drew fire. “When you say and specifically mention Latin Americans, you’re telling me indirectly that you have something against people that are brown or Black or Indian or aboriginal and so on that come from south of the United States border,” said Luis Rivera with the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission. The Virginia Beach Democratic Committee termed the statement “racist.”

Once you call someone a racist, you pretty well shut down the conversation. But there are legitimate issues here. That the ESL program is causing fiscal stress to Virginia Beach schools is undeniable. WAVY-TV reports the numbers here.

Manning elaborated upon her comments to the television station. The city is already short 100 teachers, she said, and now it has to add eight more ESL positions. “If you have a program with an increasing number of students with fewer teachers then the program is unsustainable.” Continue reading

Undocumented Aliens vs. Undocumented Vaccinations

Screen grab from the University of Virginia website: “DACA & Undcoumented Student Resources.”

by Walter Smith

Prior to the fall 2021 semester, the University of Virginia disenrolled 238 students, including 49 who had already registered for classes. What was their offense? Take a guess.

  1. Entering and residing in the country illegally, or
  2. Refusing to get COVID vaccinated in violation of a university policy that has since been overturned.

If you answered (2), you have been paying attention. If you also knew that UVa had declared in June 2020 that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status no longer disqualified an applicant from attending the university, you are really on top of things.

“Our mission as a university is to attract outstanding students who will make our community stronger and the world a better place,” said UVa President Jim Ryan in this June 2020 article. “We should be open to all qualified applicants – and this decision is an important step in the right direction.”

Solicitude to “all” qualified applicants did not extend to those who presented no documentation of vaccinations and boosters. University policy compelled “all students attending in the Spring 2022 semester … to upload proof” — documentation, if you will — “of an approved booster shot to the HealthyHoos patient portal” or face expulsion.  Continue reading

A Naval Officer Prepares to Repel Boarders

Lt. Ron DeSantis

by James C. Sherlock

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced he has put $8 million in his new budget to transport illegal immigrants to other states and D.C.

He listed Delaware and Martha’s Vineyard as potential destinations.

This of course will be Florida’s response to the Biden administration flying 70 planeloads of illegals into the state in the middle of the night.

BTW, do we know if Virginia got any of those flights? We really don’t know how many of these flights from the border, just like the flights from Afghanistan, landed and disgorged their passengers in Virginia.  Therefore we have no idea what the impact is and will be.  We don’t know that because Northam does not want to know or tell us.

Gov. DeSantis did and is speaking up about what he will do about it.

Excuse the schadenfreude, but it will be huge fun seeing dark blue Delaware and Massachusetts put state troopers on their borders to block entry of buses full of illegal immigrants.

I can’t wait.

In Fairfax, Illegal-Alien Rights Trump Citizen Rights

by James A. Bacon

Apparently, protecting illegal aliens from U.S. immigration authorities is more important to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors than safeguarding the transparency of police blotters, which have been a mainstay of local media crime reporting and public information about crime in the community.

The Fairfax County Police Department has stopped publishing its weekly arrest blotter. Immigrant rights and civil liberty groups had been pushing for the change, arguing that the weekly compilations, which includes arrestees’ records and other details, could help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) target immigrants for deportation, reports the Associated Press.

Remarkably, Diane Burkley Alejandro, executive director of ACLU People Power, said she has no evidence that ICE is actually using the blotters to track down immigrants. Rather, she says, the information provides a “road map” that might allow ICE to locate them as it employs new data-mining tools.

Citizens can still obtain the arrest data, but only by filing a Freedom of Information Act request subject to a month-long response time and possible fees. Continue reading

Welcome to America

Afghan refugees boarding a bus at Dulles international Airport. Photo credit: AP

Thousands of Afghan refugees are arriving at Fort Lee in Virginia for medical treatment and immigration processing before settling permanently in the U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, who visited Fort Lee Monday, estimates that 70,000 to 80,000 Afghans live in the U.S., reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Odds are that most of the refugees from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan — more than 140,000 have been evacuated by the U.S. military — will end up in the United States, where they will plug into existing Afghan communities in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Charlottesville, and elsewhere. Here at Bacon’s Rebellion, we thank the Afghans for their assistance to American forces, welcome  them to the U.S., and wish them well as they build new lives for themselves.

— JAB

The Border Crisis Is Here, Virginia

by James A. Bacon

Off the top of your head, which states would you expect to be the top destinations for illegal immigrants? California, of course. Texas. Florida. New York. Would you expect Virginia to be in the Top 10?

By at least one metric — the number of pending immigration cases — Virginia is sixth in the nation. According to the TRAC Immigration database, there are more than 58,000 immigration cases on the waiting list, and the number continues to grow, reports WSLS television.

Relatively speaking, Virginia has been less impacted by the mass rush on the border that commenced several months ago. Only 923 cases have been filed in Virginia in the last 90 days, ranking it 11th in the country. Still, the Old Dominion is in the front lines of the illegal immigration crisis to a greater degree than I ever imagined. Unfortunately, our public policy debate does not reflect this reality. Continue reading

Child Endangerment at Home and on the Border

by Kerry Dougherty

Baby Boomers are fond of social media posts that glorify their raised-by-wolves childhoods.

They usually go something like this:

We drank out of garden hoses, rode in the back of pick-ups, didn’t have seat belts let alone car seats, came home when the street lights went on, thought Howard Johnson’s was fine dining, played with BB guns and knives and earned our immunization to chicken pox, mumps and measles the old fashioned way. The fat kid in our class would be considered skinny today.

The implication? We’re tough. Today’s youngsters are pampered.

It’s worth remembering that not everything was wonderful when Boomers were growing up.

Suitcases didn’t have wheels.

Telephones were tethered to the wall.

Televisions received only three channels.

I could go on.

But one thing I remember well from my childhood in a small New Jersey town was that by the time I was six my mother would routinely send me to a corner store to buy her Pall Malls. The shop was probably about half a mile from our house. Continue reading

Podcast: How the General Assembly Has Changed

By Peter Galuszka

I haven’t contributed much to BR lately since I am slammed with non-Virginia work. I did manage to help out on a Podcast about how the General Assembly has changed the state over the last two years as Democrats have gained power.

This Podcast is produced by WTJU, the University of Virginia radio station. I do a weekly talk show on state politics and economics and, on occasion, work on Podcasts.

Joining me is Sally Hudson, a delegate from the Charlottesville area. She is Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics. Sally studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford and is one of the youngest members of the General Assembly.

I hope you enjoy it.

Stewart Gets Last-Minute Gift From Trump

Corey Stewart

Peter Galuszka

Corey A. Stewart, a conservative firebrand from Prince William County, is getting a last-minute going-away present from President Donald Trump.

As Trump’s administration comes to an end, Trump has created a position on trade at the U.S. Commerce Department that is just for him. In 2016, Stewart headed Trump’s Virginia election campaign before being fired. Stewart said that he was Trump before Trump was Trump.

Stewart is an international trade lawyer and is expected to strong arm Trump’s tough and confusing trade policies.

A special target is China, which Trump has castigated, with some justification, for cheating on business deals, fiddling with its currency exchange rates, growing its armed forces and trampling on human rights.

Stewart will toughen enforcement of Trump’s hostile trade relations, according to news reports.

Some trade experts wonder what the Stewart story is all about. According to Reuters, William Reinsch, a former Commerce undersecretary, said he viewed hiring as “peculiar” since he is filling a position that does not exist. Continue reading

Trump’s ICE Scandal in Farmville

By Peter Galuszka

In a remarkable display of incompetence, the Trump Administration this summer transferred dozens of undocumented aliens being held in detention centers in Arizona and Florida to a private prison in Farmville just so special federal tactical officers could beef up crowd control in Washington, D.C.

Consequently, some 300 inmates at the Farmville Detention Center operated by the privately held Richmond-based Immigration Centers of America contracted the COVID 19 virus and one died.

The action, reported this morning by The Washington Post, prompted U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to call for stricter oversight of the Farmville facility that operates under a contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to hold undocumented aliens while their cases are being reviewed or while they await deportation.

Jennifer Boysko, a Democratic state senator, called for changes in state law to allow greater regulation of private prisons.

According to the Post, the Trump Administration wanted more protection from generally peaceful protests that were being held near the White House that called attention to police slayings of African Americans while in custody. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser declined to call for federal help. Continue reading

Private Immigrant Prison Has Virus Crisis

By Peter Galuszka

A private prison for undocumented immigrants in Farmville is having its own COVID-19 crisis after 90% of its detainees tested positive for the virus.

Court papers have shown that 267 inmates at the prison run by Richmond-based Immigration Centers of America have tested positive for the virus and another 80 were still awaiting results as of last week.

What seems to be an increasingly dire situation at the Farmville Detention Center on the outskirts of town has been highlighted by WRIC, the Daily Beast and HuffPost.

Officials at the prison are the target of a lawsuit by the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR) and the facility was the scene of a disturbance earlier this month when inmates refused to assemble one morning early this month and guards used pepper spray in the ensuing fracas.

Part of the problem started on June 2, when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department sent along 74 immigrant detainees from Florida and Arizona. The Farmville facility could have refused, but the owners make profits on the per diem rates they are paid by the federal government. The City of Farmville gets a cut of the per diem as well.

According to WRIC, 90% of the inmates are infected. Continue reading

The Return of the “Cooch”

By Peter Galuszka

Early this past Wednesday morning, Mark Pettibone and Connor O’Shead were walking on their way home after a peaceful protest in Portland, Ore.

Suddenly an unmarked van pulled in front of them. Men wearing green uniforms, tactical gear and generic signs reading “POLICE” hustled them into the vehicle. They were not told why they were being detained. After 90 minutes, the badly shaken men were released without being charged.

The episode might sound like the activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his “little green men” who have shown up in places like Crimea and Eastern Ukraine to intimidate and detain people.

But this was Portland, a progressive city that has seen protests for weeks. President Donald Trump has urged federal authorities to move in on cities to restore his sense of order even though city officials in Portland do not want his help and are investigating what is going on.

And, guess who is playing a role in what could be a growing national trend of federal law enforcement performing “snatch and grabs” of innocent protestors?

That would be Kenneth Cuccinelli, the former hard right, state attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate. He is now acting deputy secretary of the Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading

Thank Europe For a Badly Needed Reality Check

By Peter Galuszka

It’s time for a pandemic reality check, especially at Bacon’s Rebellion.

The blog is flooded with post after post about how the coronavirus crisis is exaggerated and how Gov. Ralph Northam “King Ralph” is Public Enemy No. 1 and wields improper power by closing schools, bars, beaches, businesses and so on. I won’t mention names since you know who you are.

Add to backdrop the enforced parochialism at Bacon’s Rebellion, in which we aren’t supposed to think beyond the borders of the Old Dominion, despite the fact that Virginia has enormous ties with other countries and travel and contact are essential.

Among the most damning data about the lack of progress against the virus, led by the unspeakably incompetent leadership of Donald Trump and Virginia’s provincialism, can be found in a small story in today’s Washington Post.

As some readers may know, the European Union has finally loosened its travel rules, particularly for Canada, New Zealand and Japan. But not for the United States. Why? As of June 15, the E.U. had recorded only 15 new cases of COVID 19 infection per 100,000 for the previous two weeks. The U.S. recorded a whopping 145 cases per 100,000 for the same period. Continue reading

I Remember Stonewall

The day they drove old Dixie down. Removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue on Richmond’s Monument Ave. Photo credit: Associated Press

By Peter Galuszka

Confederate statues are finally coming down in Richmond and other Virginia cities, including one of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. There have been outcries by sentimental mythologists and apologists on this blog and elsewhere about how “mob rule” is forcing issues and so on.

Since some bloggers here have come up with their version of positive biographies about some of the figures, notably Matthew Fontaine Maury, an early oceanographer and Confederate Naval officer, I thought I’d weigh in on my own personal experience with Stonewall.

Jackson was born on Jan. 24 1824 in what was then Clarksburg, Va., and grew up about 20 miles south in Jackson’s Mill near Weston Va. Then in 1863, irritated about Richmond’s racial policies and economic favoritism, residents seceded and created West Virginia which supported the North in the Civil War.

By coincidence, I moved to the Clarksburg area in 1962 from the D.C. area when I was nine years old and resided there until 1969.

It wasn’t exactly the “Southern” experience others seem to recall. For one thing, the homeland of “Stonewall” did not have many slaves or African-Americans. The area of Harrison County, however, held fairly mixed views about slavery and allegiance. While Jackson, a West Point graduate went with the South, his sister was loyal to the North. (For more details about Jackson’s life, read James L. Robertson Jr.’s excellent 1997 biography.) Continue reading