Kaine highlights stories of DREAMers from Virginia schools

Today on the Senate floor, Senator Tim Kaine highlighted DACA recipients — known as DREAMers — he has talked to and heard about from across Virginia.

tim kaineBelow are excerpts of Senator Kaine’s remarks about DREAMers from higher education institutions across Virginia.

George Mason University:
“Renata was one of the youngsters. She came to Virginia when she was three years old with her parents and her older brother and sister. She graduated high school with an advanced diploma — some of us know the international baccalaureate diploma — which is very rigorous. Now, with DACA, she’s studying at George Mason University –pursuing — getting a degree in clinical psychology. She does brain injury research and she wants to do that research to hopefully help people, like returning veterans, who suffer from brain injuries.”

Radford University:
“Giancarla is a DACA recipient from Virginia. She came here a decade ago, reunited with her parents, hadn’t seen her parents in seven years. She received DACA in 2012 and then went to Radford University, graduated with a bachelor’s degree with international economics. Giancarla described that she is so appreciative about where DACA has gotten her in her life but she told me the night before — she told me that the night before we met, she’d had a conversation with her sister. Her sister was in high school and was calling her big sister to describe how scared she was about what would happen if DACA was taken away. She talked about her little sister as a hardworking and studious kid and she is worried she won’t be able to go to college anymore and may be separated from family.”

George Mason University:
“Min is a young man, who is Korean American, born in Korea and is a DACA recipient who is at George Mason. He is studying cyber. He talked about his desire to serve the United States and help with his cyber expertise but how the removal of DACA could hurt his studies and could hurt his ability to get security clearances to be able to offer his talents to the country.”

William and Mary:
“And Gloria, just the fifth of these examples – there were eight students there – is an interesting young lady from Nigeria, born in England to Nigerian parents, brought here as a youngster. She’ll be the first DACA recipient in Virginia to graduate from law school. She is at William and Mary Law School, wants to graduate in December, and help new Americans with immigration issues.”

Virginia Tech:
“Juan is a 2017 graduate of Virginia Tech and now makes Blacksburg his home. He came to Virginia at age 5 and he said this: ‘It’s really hard for me to think of myself as anything but a Virginian and an American. It would be really hard to have that part of my identity detached from me.” That’s how he views the reversal on DACA.”

Bridgewater College:
“And then Guadalupe who’s from the Shenandoah Valley, one of Virginia’s very rural areas, but it has a significant number of DACA recipients, just started her freshman year at Bridgewater College, a small private college in the Valley. And she says, ‘This is the only country I’ve ever known. I’ve pledged my allegiance to the stars and stripes every day.’”

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