Protesters will gather at James Madison University Thursday to voice their disapproval of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s current status on immigration.
They will urge him to support federal reform in the form of the DREAM Act, instead of supporting Cuccinelli’s anti-immigrant statewide legislation.
The protest will include a day of activities, in the form of a mock university for high school graduates who are unable to attend college because of their documentation status.
Leadership in Virginia has chosen to attempt to pass its own anti-immigrant legislation instead of asking Congress to pass the DREAM Act.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli recently made a statement that police in Virginia are able to ask for immigration documents when performing a lawful stop and suspicious of whether someone is illegal.
Last week, McDonnell appealed to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to put into place the 287(g) program throughout the entire state of Virginia. This contract gives state troopers the authority of Federal immigration agents, checking people for immigration status when performing a lawful stop.
It is the opinion of the DREAM Activists that any sort of statewide law violates federal immigration laws and undermines the authority of the federal government in deciding our own laws.
Nicole Budzius, a member of DREAM Activist Virginia, states, “It has become clear that there is strong opposition 287(g) both nationally and in Virginia. We want to make it clear to McDonnell that we do not support this legislation”.
Politicians have been gaining publicity during this election year by proposing state-level solutions to immigration instead of demanding that the federal government fix the system.
On Thursday, DREAM Activists will hold DREAM University, and then enter McDonnell’s town hall to tell him that they will not tolerate extreme solutions to the problems in the immigration system.
They want Virginia leadership to instead support the DREAM Act as a federal reform to grant earned legalization to high school graduates who were brought into the country by their parents as children.
Isabel Castillo, a lead DREAM Activist, states, “We believe that immigration is a federal issue, and that politicians such as Ken Cuccinelli and Gov. McDonnell should be pushing out 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.”
The protest will begin at 2 p.m. with a mock DREAM University, and activities will continue all throughout the day leading into McDonnell’s town hall meeting. Then protesters will speak to him directly at the town hall, confronting his current status on immigration issues statewide and instead asking him to support federal legislation.