RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Authorities say that Virginia's state and regional jails have housed at least 19,882 immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1TPDpyN ) that data collected by the State Compensation Board shows that the between 2008 and 2015, jails housed at least 14,460 immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally. The board says there were another 5,422 offenders in jailers' custody who were scheduled for deportation.
Officials say the number is likely much higher. The immigrant or citizenship status of tens of thousands of inmates over that time period could not definitively be established and officials say many them are likely residing here illegally.
Virginia lawmakers passed a law in 2008 that requires jails to report the number of people in their facilities who entered the U.S. illegally.