VACIR is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities.
2021 General Assembly Session Priorities
For the 2021 General Assembly, we are moving towards rebuilding from COVID-19 and looking at long term investments for the immigrant community. We are working to ensure immigrant families are not left behind. Join us in making sure we are able to bring justice and substantial changes in Virginia.
Building Upon Access to Driving:
HB 2163 DMV Data Privacy Protections Protects the personal information of all Virginia drivers from being bought and sold by private companies and prevents ICE from misusing the DMV database to detain and deport immigrant residents of Virginia.
This is a HUGE win for families who are getting the Driver Privilege Cards!
Read More About the Campaign: Click Here
Educational Opportunity and Child Welfare:
- Investments in Education through the School Equity and Staffing Act. This includes additional funding for certified English Learner instructors and teacher salaries
- Allowing standby guardianship to help children of undocumented immigrants who have been deported or detained
- Extended support for youth by increasing in the age out for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status predicate orders to 21
Access to State Financial Aid:
Both HB 2123 and SB 1387 removed immigration-related barriers to state financial aid to public and private colleges and universities starting August 2022. This builds upon the progress of getting in-state tuition for undocu+ students which started Fall 2020. This makes Virginia the 7th state to be able to let undocu+ students have equal opportunity for financial aid access!
- Tenants now have a once-a-year ability pay all that is owed 48 hours before a planned eviction which gives tenants the ability to stay in their home.
- An increase in penalties for unlawful eviction from landlords. Tenants are able to petition the court for unlawful evictions from landlords and seek damages.
- A permanent policy is now in place for landlords to give tenants a 14-day notice before filing an eviction.
Health Care Access:
- Additional access to prenatal care through Medicaid regardless of immigration status for pregnant people who meet all the other requirements.
- Assurance that Medicaid “Emergency Services” includes COVID-19 screening, testing, and treatment for all regardless of status.
- Repealing the requirement for state mental health facilities report immigration status so no person is wrongfully deported for seeking assistance
- The creation of a language access workgroup to recommend improvements to state agencies on much needed accessibility measures for communities.
- A refugee workforce study to recommend how we can help refugees participate in our workforce
- The creation of Non-driver ID cards for everyone regardless of status to help immigrant families be able to have a form of Virginia identification.