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ACLU backs Gov. McAuliffe on Syrian refugees

acluGov. Terry McAuliffe said Monday that Virginia will not be among the states that are seeking to block Syrian refugees in the wake of terrorist attacks on France last week.

ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga issued a statement on Tuesday backing McAuliffe’s stance.

“The ACLU of Virginia commends Gov. McAuliffe for having the courage not to attempt to block settlement in Virginia of Syrian refugees fleeing violent civil war in their homeland. It’s the right thing to do. To do otherwise would violate the rule of law and subject people to government discrimination based on their ethnicity or religion.

“Sadly, some Virginia politicians now are threatening to try to use the legislature to undertake the cruel, fear-based tack that the governor has rejected. Should that happen, the ACLU will stand up for the civil rights and basic humanity of all those affected, including existing and future Virginia residents.”