Members of a Valley-based group will greet Gov. Bob McDonnell on his way to his town-hall meeting at James Madison University in Harrisonburg on Thursday to voice their disapproval of the Republican’s stance on immigration.
“We believe that immigration is a federal issue, and that politicians such as Ken Cuccinelli and Gov. McDonnell should be pushing our Congress and president to fix our broken immigration system. The future of our country needs the DREAM Act so that people such as myself are able to become successful and lend to Virginia’s economy. Pass the DREAM Act now,” said Isabella Castillo, the leader of DREAM Activist Virginia, which is working to lobby members of the Virginia congressional delegation to support the federal DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation coauthored by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, would impact the estimated 65,000 children of undocumented workers who graduate from U.S. high schools annually by opening to them eligibility for a six-year-long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.
The political climate in Virginia relative to immigration has in recent weeks been hostile. Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, has issued an advisory opinion to the effect that he believes state law gives local and state police the power to ask for immigration documents when performing a lawful stop and suspicious of whether someone is illegal. And for his part McDonnell has appealed to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to authorize a program giving Virginia state troopers the authority of federal immigration agents.
“It has become clear that there is strong opposition to 287g both nationally and in Virginia. We want to make it clear to McDonnell that we do not support this legislation,” DREAM Activists member Nicole Budzius said.
Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at [email protected].