by James C. Sherlock

I am on record as a persistent advocate of improving the quality of both schools and medical services for poor and minority citizens. It has been the main focus of my work for years.

In a directly related matter, we read, with different reactions depending upon our politics, of the struggles with uncontrolled immigration on border states on the one hand and D.C, New York City and Los Angeles on the other.

We are treated to the public spectacle of the mayors of sanctuary cities deploring massive new influxes of illegal border-crossers and asking for federal assistance. It provides one of the best object lessons in being careful what you ask for in recent public life.

All of that is interesting, but Virginians know that the problem is increasing. They know Virginia can’t fix it, and they want to know how Virginia will deal with it.

By law we owe illegals services. And we need to provide them efficiently and effectively both for humanitarian reasons and to ensure that citizens are not unnecessarily negatively affected.

There is work to do.

The problem.  Here is the increasing problem of illegal crossings in three charts.

That CBP encounter data doesn’t include an estimate of a million “got-aways” in the past 12 months.

We also know that illegal crossers are not being deported at the border as efficiently as they used to be.

If Title 42 is not enforced, even those deportations will collapse.

Those figures suggest a major national security issue. By wide majorities, Americans want it fixed. But that is not the subject of this article.

Virginia’s state and local governments can’t fix it, so they have to deal with it. The state must ask and answer:

  • What is Virginia’s share of America’s up to 3 million illegal border crossers a year?
  • What are the numbers?
  • Where are they located?
  • How many are children and unaccompanied children?; and
  • What are the planning, budgeting and operational impacts?

The short answer appears to be that Virginia at the state level may not know the answers to support both mandatory and compassionate services for illegals in the state. It is in the public interest of citizens that those services be provided efficiently and effectively.

The children should be in school and Virginia school divisions should provide the resources to educate them. We should have viable options to hospital emergency rooms for their medical care to reduce the cost and prevent festering illnesses. They should have somewhere safe to sleep. The adults and children should not be exploited. Unaccompanied minors are of particular concern in that regard.

To the degree that it is not done today, Virginia should gather, share and use information in an organized way at both the local and state levels to plan, budget and execute services for illegals.

Local police, health departments and social services agencies surely know better than anyone the answers to those questions. Virginia needs to collect, collate and leverage that for the good of all.

Laws mandate education, health care and police services to illegals without discrimination and, by and large, without reporting immigration status of recipients to the federal government.

At the state level and local levels, we should explore both how to acquire and share better information on illegals within the constraints of federal law and eliminate any barriers to such sharing in state law and regulations.

I am unable to find a state agency with overall responsibility for keeping track of illegals. Certainly the state Secretaries of Education, Health and Human Resources and Public Safety and Homeland Security have portfolios that indicate the need for such information. All have planning divisions.

State Police has a criminal intelligence division, but the need for information exceeds criminal activity.

The Governor may wish to consider appointing a lead agency to gather and collate information on illegals not accused of crimes other than illegal entry for use by the wide range of state and local agencies needing that information.

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15 responses to “Virginia Needs Better Information Sharing to Provide Mandated Public Services to Illegals Efficiently and Effectively”

  1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Good article. I have a feeling that undocumented immigrants will be reluctant to cooperate in the development of a state database. I wouldn’t blame them.

    1. Exactly DHS!! — registering is the first step to government action against them… what a minute….I’ve heard that same argument elsewhere.

  2. By law we owe illegals services.

    I’m not sure I would have used that wording. Maybe: “By law we are required to provide services to illegal aliens”.

    I understand the reasons why these requirements are in place, and I am not complaining about [most of] them, but I most definitely do not think I owe anything to someone who enters this country illegally.

    Words like “owe” encourage attitudes of entitlement.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      Under federal law, they are entitlements, and the illegals knew that before they left their native countries. The numbers are also staggering from some of the native countries’ perspectives.

      Ecuador has 18 million people. One hundred thousand of our recent illegal border crossers detained and released by the border patrol have been from Ecuador.

      It would be the equivalent of 2 million American citizens walking out of the United States with what they could carry.

  3. Codswallop. Utter, unredeemable codswallop.

    1. Oh yeah? Two can play that game…

      Claptrap. Tosh. Malarkey. Piffle. Balderdash. Folderol. Bosh. Hooey. Drivel. Hogwash. Bunkum. Hokum.
      Bilgewater, Tommyrot. Rigamarole. Blatherskite.


  4. One way to guesstimate the change in the number of illegal immigrants in Virginia is to track the number of enrolled students who are (a) English learners, and (b) disadvantaged. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good order-of-magnitude proxy.

    Here are the numbers for Virginia, based on VDOE data:

    I was surprised by how stable the numbers have been over the past 10 years — until the pre-COVID years of 2017/18 and 2018/19, which showed a big jump before returning to normal last year.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Or, just count the number of buses in the Greg Abbott Express…

      1. Randy Huffman Avatar
        Randy Huffman

        Do you blame him? Texas is being buried with this problem and have no way to deal with it. I read an article that DC mayor Bowser was complaining about several thousand Migrants being sent to DC (see one below). That is a drop in the bucket compared to how many are crossing over. This will not end well. There is no “Federal Resources” to help with the cost, only more Federal debt.

      2. But he’s only sending them to ‘sanctuary cities’ — what’s the problem? those govt leaders want them.

    2. Randy Huffman Avatar
      Randy Huffman

      I tried to find the chart but couldn’t, since the State and school year operates on a June 30 fiscal year, I wonder if the chart is through June 30… Given that the borders just opened up in early 2021, and it takes a while for people to move to another state (just ask the cities who are now just realizing how serious this policy is going to affect them) this chart may not reflect the influx of Migrants.

    3. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      As you indicate, it is interesting as a statistical artifact, but of course does not help with services planning. We can assume that these kids were each surprises to the schools in which they enrolled. And the kids and adults to the hospitals into whose emergency rooms they arrived.

  5. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    Always interesting how they home owner has to share his house with the thief according to all the compassionate people.

  6. vicnicholls Avatar

    Do other countries with illegally present people do services for them? Why should I pay for their education, etc. when I am losing out on services?

    1. China provides free housing, education, and job training to its ‘illegal/illegitimate’ people of color…..and King Lebron loves it!

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