Students; school boards report to Board of Education number enrolled in English as second language. (HB1775)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Immigration status of the parents of public school students. Requires that the person enrolling a pupil in a public school must indicate the citizenship or immigration status of such pupil's parents. The bill provides that the child of a parent lacking citizenship or lawful immigration status documentation must still be admitted into the public school, but the immigration status information must be reported to the Secretary of Education annually. Additionally, the Secretary of Education must submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the number of children whose parents lack lawful status documentation attending public school in the Commonwealth and the cost of such students' education, aggregated by school division. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2011Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/11 11100039D
01/11/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2011Assigned Courts sub: #3 Immigration
01/27/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1775)
01/28/2011Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 1-N)
02/04/2011Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (16-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2011Committee substitute printed 11104841D-H1
02/06/2011Read first time
02/07/2011Read second time
02/07/2011Committee substitute agreed to 11104841D-H1
02/07/2011Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1775H1
02/08/2011Read third time and passed House (73-Y 25-N)
02/08/2011VOTE: PASSAGE (73-Y 25-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2011Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2011Referred to Committee on Education and Health
02/11/2011Rereferred from Education and Health (13-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2011Rereferred to Courts of Justice
02/11/2011Assigned Courts sub: Immigration
02/22/2011Left in Courts of Justice
02/22/2011Impact statement from DPB (HB1775H1)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 1 minute.


VACOLAO, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

This bill sets up the use of children as bait to identify their parents as being present in the country without authority, regardless of whether the children are citizens themselves. VACOLAO opposes this legislation.

Deanna Lavery writes:

So, we are basically making it more difficult to enroll children (who are often DOCUMENTED US CITIZENS) by intimidating their parents and making them report citizenship? It seems to me that this would create more social problems and criminal acts by excluding children from school.

Alice Foltz writes:

This bill is cumbersome and costly for local school districts who can ill-afford to have staff become immigration agents, checking and verifying the immigration status of the parents of students who, according to the law, must be admitted to the school anyhow.

If schools are able to understand and find staffing to carry out the bill, they will be forced to harass parents who do not quickly turn in the required documentation (whether they have it, or not), and this is a clear path to discrimination.

The bill also requires parents to prove their documentation in order to carry out the legal requirement to send their children to school. This appears to be a potential unconstitutional "self-incrimination" process.

Altogether, this is an unconstitutional, costly and impractical bill.

robert legge writes:

Delegate Gilbert needs to have his head examined. This is one of the stupidest bills I've ever seen.

OK, I guess I can see the point of wanting to identify how many kids have undocumented parents. Apparently that will strengthen the argument that "we've go to do something" about this illegal immigration.

And forget about the hassle of the US citizen parents of trying to show citizen or residency status.

But I can guarantee you that a significant number of parents will refuse to engage in this game or are unable for one reason or another to comply.

So you will end up with invalid data that will prove nothing. Todd, call me next time you come up with anything as hare-brained as this and I'll save you the embarrassment. Best case scenario (for Todd)is that it never makes it out of committee.

robert legge writes:

The part about the parent's citizenship records appears to have been stricken from the amended bill, although it still asks for the citizenship of the child. It also asks for info on number of ESL students, a figure which I believe is already publicly available. Amazingly they got 16 people to vote for this stupid bill.

robert legge writes:

People are free to argue about immigration policy or what impact it has on state schools but the really moronic part of this bill is that it expects to divide kids into two groups. Those who are proven US citizens and those who are not US citizens. The problem is that those who do not hand in their documents for whatever reason (remember there is no consequences for non-compliance) will apparently be counted as non-citizens. But of course thousands of parents will be non-compliant, making the data useless. Is this that hard to figure out, Todd....and the other 15 who voted with you?