A bill in the Virginia House would forbid inquiries regarding detained persons' citizenship status

The Commonwealth of Virginia has laws on its books requiring law enforcement and correctional system officers to inquire about the citizenship status of persons in their custody, and to report to federal immigration authorities any such individuals discovered to be present in the United States without proper documentation.

These regulations were clearly enacted to simplify the process of dealing with individuals harmful to the community, by simply handing them over to federal immigration authorities responsible for deporting them.

There exists among progressives an ideal that an illegal alien should — somehow — have an ‘untouchable’ status. It should be considered sinful, or evil, to ask a person whether they are present in the United States illegally.

In parallel, there exists a progressive trend to elevate the convicted criminal, to view them as victims of racist discrimination, as members of a downtrodden, heroic class of humans yearning to break loose from the bonds of oppression.

A member of the Virginia House of Delegates called Mark H. Levine, a Democrat who represents part of the city of Alexandria as well as parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties, has introduced a bill uniting those two exalted ideals into a special, protected class: The criminal illegal alien.

Virginia House of Delegates Bill 244

Virginia House Bill Number 244 has been given the title Inquiry and report of immigration status; persons charged with or convicted of certain crimes. The proposed legislation would remove provisions in Virginia legal code requiring:

  1. Jail officers to ascertain the citizenship of any inmate taken into custody.
  2. Probation and parole officers to inquire as to the citizenship status of a person convicted of a felony and referred to those officers.
  3. Officers in charge of correctional facilities to inquire as to the citizenship of any person committed to the correctional facility they're responsible for.
  4. The clerk of a court that has sentenced an alien to a correctional facility to furnish court records to a federal government immigration officer.
  5. An intake officer report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement any juvenile believed to be in the United States illegally who was detained on an allegation that the juvenile committed a violent felony.

The legislation was prefiled, i.e. it was filed before the beginning of the 2020 legislative session, and is pending referral to a Virginia House of Delegates committee.