Supporting Immigrant Rights
Virginia has grown and continues to grow stronger from its rich diversity. Currently, immigrants make up 1 in 9 Virginians, providing essential contributions to our economy, and serving as vital strands in the fabric of Virginia society. As Governor I will ensure that Virginia continues to uphold the American ideal of inclusion and opportunity that led my own relatives to immigrate from Italy and Ireland.
Virginia has built a reputation as a welcoming state and we must vigilantly safeguard this value of openness. Unfortunately, in recent years Virginia Republicans have repeatedly offered legislation harmful to immigrants and to our economy. This includes a bill that would have forced cities and counties to act as agents of federal immigration policy, over the opposition of local elected officials and police chiefs.
As Congressman, I was proud to vote for the DREAM Act. As an advocate, I have joined fasts for immigration reform, rallied support for the DACA and DAPA executive orders, and worked with interfaith coalitions to advocate for immigrant rights. As the Trump Administration wages attacks on immigrants and promotes exclusion at the federal level, I will resist these efforts in our state and commit Virginia to a different path.
I will support the rights of all students in Virginia to pursue their education and careers secure from the attacks of the Trump administration. The soul and safety of our communities are stronger when our brothers and sisters need not live in the shadows and peaceful families are not ripped apart by government agents. I will also champion policies that make it possible for immigrants to fully participate as Virginians, including such basic commonsense policies as licenses for drivers, and strengthen anti-discrimination protections to protect our state’s vital diversity.