Crime victims; no law-enforcement officer shall inquire into immigration status thereof. (SB462)

Introduced By

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) with support from co-patrons Del. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale), and Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Crime victims; immigration status.  Provides that no law-enforcement officer or other agent of state or local government shall, when investigating a crime, inquire into the immigration status of any person who reports that he is the victim of the crime or the parent or guardian of a minor victim, or is a cooperating witness in the criminal investigation or the parent or guardian of a minor witness. The bill does not prohibit a law-enforcement officer from inquiring into the immigration status of a victim or witness who has been arrested or charged with a criminal violation, or when such inquiry is required by federal law or is essential to the investigation or prosecution of the crime to which the person is a witness or of which the person is a victim. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/13/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10101329D
01/13/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/14/2010Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/20/2010Reported from Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2010Read second time and engrossed
01/26/2010Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2010Placed on Calendar
02/16/2010Read first time
02/16/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/17/2010Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
03/05/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 4-N)
03/08/2010Failed to report (defeated) in Courts of Justice (10-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)


VACOLAO, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

VACOLAO supports this legislation that enhances the safety of our communities by assuring victims and witnesses to crime that they will not face inquiries about their immigration status if they come forward and cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy writes:

We support this bill because public safety is everyone's concern. If people without documentation don't report crimes and don't cooperate with the police then we are all at risk.

Roberta Littlefield writes:

This is an important bill for the protection of the public. We need to prioritize the importance of witnesses speaking freely about criminals they know are posing threats to us all. Let's focus first on what is most important, that is protection of innocent citizens and bystanders from known criminals.

Roberta Littlefield writes:

Senate Bill 462, now under consideration by the House will enable witnesses of crimes and persons with information to report what they know to investigators without fear they will be apprehended for having improper papers. This will reduce subsequent crimes, thus protecting us all. Let's support it!