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Virginia schools change rules for unaccompanied alien children

Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abigail Robinson, 11.
Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abigail Robinson, 11.
Robinson family photo

The Virginia Department of Education has one set of rules for Americans and another for unaccompanied alien children. Things like birth certificates, social security numbers and immunizations are ignored for the latest arrivals.

Children without citizenship, living on their own or with others in the community are considered homeless students if they have no fixed address or are staying in a temporary placement, according to a VDOE memo written July 25. The memo explains that homeless children must be enrolled and that the school division must provide them with assistance in getting them the necessary immunizations.

“Division superintendents cannot exclude from school attendance those homeless children who do not provide the requisite health or immunization information required of other students,” it says. “School divisions must immediately refer the student to the school division liaison required to assist the student in obtaining necessary physical examinations or proof of completion of immunizations.”

The same document reminds schools “no student shall be admitted for the first time to any public school in any school division in Virginia unless the person enrolling the student shall present, upon admission, a certified copy of the student’s birth record.”

Students entering public kindergarten or elementary school in a school division for the first time must furnish, prior to admission, a report of a comprehensive physical examination from a qualified licensed physician, or a licensed nurse practitioner, or licensed physician assistant acting under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Documentation indicating that the child has received the required immunizations must be provided. Virginia law also requires each student to present a federal social security number within 90 days of his/her enrollment.

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

A federal immigration judge in Oregon has determined felony is not a serious offense. The woman who killed two children playing in a leaf pile in 2013 was released from a Tacoma, WA, immigration detention center Aug. 14.

Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros was in removal proceedings and had been held at the facility since February. She was convicted of two counts felony hit and run in the accident that killed a pair of stepsisters. Garcia-Cisneros killed Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abigail Robinson, 11, when she drove through a leaf pile, and left the scene.

Garcia-Cisneros was sentenced to three years’ probation and 250 hours of community service in January. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained her after the conviction.