In my adult life, I have never seen the assault on our immigrant neighbors and communities that we see today. From President Trump’s Muslim ban, to the separation of refugee families at the border, to the heartless enforcement actions by ICE, we here in Northern Virginia must act quickly and forcefully to end this unconscionable exercise of government power.
My own experience as an immigrant and refugee inform how—as your state Senator—I will act on this pressing issue. My family fled a brutal war and came to the U.S. with almost nothing. This country and my home of Northern Virginia have given me everything, and that’s why I have fought on the frontlines to give every one of my neighbors the same opportunity I had.
As a human rights attorney, I have fought in Congress to ensure the full and Constitutional rights provided for immigrants and their families are respected and adhered to. Unlike others, I was there at Dulles Airport protesting and offering what legal services I could when Trump’s Muslim ban was implemented. I was a loud and proud supporter of Attorney General Mark Herring’s legal fights to ensure DACA recipients could receive in-state tuition here in Virginia. And I have fought against the arbitrary and immoral assaults on immigrants right led by ICE, helping end Fairfax County’s service agreement with federal immigration authorities in 2018.
We have so much more work to do on this front. That’s why as your state Senator, I will:
- Continue the fight against ICE’s overstepping on our neighbors’ rights by pushing harder to end agreements that compel local law enforcement to act on behalf of immigration agencies with a history of abusing and disregarding the rights of Northern Virginians. I will also fight for state laws to prevent families from being unnecessarily separated by immigration officials.
- Create new laws shielding localities like Fairfax County from having to pay for the cost of federal immigration enforcement actions and the legal disputes that arise from them. Right now, localities like Fairfax County have to pick up the tab for many of the costs of enforcement such as jail capacity, personnel, and local courts. It’s time to stop subsidizing the federal government and to redirect those funds back to more pressing public safety needs
- Help end wage theft in immigrant communities by passing new laws that will strengthen penalties, hire additional investigators, and improve on Virginia’s historically lax enforcement of labor violations against immigrants.
- Continue the legacy of DREAMers by providing the opportunity for undocumented students to earn in-state tuition at Virginia’s public universities, as introduced by Delegate Jennifer Boysko and Senator Dave Marsden. I will also fight for the rights of undocumented Virginians’ to drive, just as Senator Scott Surovell has for years.