by James C. Sherlock
I am officially a persistent advocate for improving the quality of schools and medical services for poor and minority citizens. This has been the main focus of my work for years.
In a directly related case, we read, with different reactions depending on our politics, the struggles against uncontrolled immigration in the border states on the one hand and DC, New York and Los Angeles on the other.
We are treated to the public spectacle of mayors of sanctuary cities lamenting new massive influxes of illegal cross-border workers and asking for federal assistance. It provides one of the best object lessons in being careful what you ask for in recent public life.
This is all great, but Virginians know the problem is getting worse. They know that Virginia can’t fix it and they want to know how Virginia will get out of it.
According to the law, we owe illegal services. And we must deliver them effectively and efficiently both for humanitarian reasons and to ensure that citizens are not unnecessarily negatively affected.
There is work to do.
The problem. Here is the growing problem of illegal crossings in three maps.
This CBP encounter data does not include an estimate of one million “leaks” over the past 12 months.
We also know that people who cross illegally are not deported at the border as efficiently as before.
If Title 42 is not enforced, even these deportations will collapse.
These figures suggest a major national security problem. By large majorities, Americans want it fixed. But that is not the subject of this article.
Virginia 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 the 3 million people who cross the border illegally a year into the United States?
- What are the Numbers?
- Where are they located?
- How many are children and unaccompanied children? ; and
- What are the impacts on planning, budgeting and operations?
The short answer seems to be that Virginia at the state level may not know the answers to support both obligatory and compassionate services for illegals in the state. It is in the public interest of citizens that these services are provided effectively and efficiently.
Children should be in school, and Virginia school divisions should provide the resources to educate them. We should have viable options for hospital emergency rooms for their medical care to reduce costs and prevent purulent disease. They should have a safe place to sleep. Adults and children should not be exploited. Unaccompanied minors are of particular concern in this regard.
To the extent that this is not done today, Virginia should collect, share, and use information in an organized way at the local and state levels to plan, budget, and execute services for illegals.
Local police, health departments and social service agencies surely know the answers to these questions better than anyone. Virginia must collect, gather and exploit this for the good of all.
The laws impose education, health care, and policing on illegal immigrants without discrimination and, for the most part, without reporting recipients’ immigration status to the federal government.
At the state and local level, we should explore both how to acquire and share better information about stowaways within the constraints of federal law and remove any barriers to such sharing in state laws and regulations. the state.
I am unable to find a state agency with overall responsibility for tracking illegal immigrants. Admittedly, the Secretaries of State 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.
The state police have a criminal intelligence division, but the need for information goes beyond criminal activity.
The Governor may wish to consider appointing a lead agency to collect and collate information on uncharged illegal immigrants for crimes other than illegal entry for use by the wide range of state and local agencies that need this information. information.