At the Rising Hope Mission Church in Alexandria yesterday. Rep. Don Beyer said he stood in solidarity with immigrants, declared that “we are here to make sure that the remarkable, resilient inimitable fabric of our nation of immigrants is not destroyed by the scorched-earth tactics that have come out of [the Trump] administration.” Rep. Beyer added that Trump’s policies “exist to incite fear,” to “spread terror,” to make immigrants “feel unwelcome” and to “make them flee.” Sen. Tim Kaine agreed with Rep. Beyer that Trump’s policies are designed to incite fear. Kaine added that immigrants “need to feel comfortable interacting with our law enforcement professionals,” and that what the Trump administration is doing to immigrants – targeting churches and hypothermia centers, among other abominations – “has got to stop.” I couldn’t agree more, and thank Sen. Kaine and Rep. Beyer for speaking out.
UPDATE: See below the video for Rep. Beyer’s press release.
Elected Leaders Condemn ICE Activity in Northern Virginia
Join Local Officials and NGOs To Oppose Trump Immigration Orders
March 3, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Virginia Democrats Congressman Don Beyer and Senator Tim Kaine joined Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham yesterday, with other elected officials and immigrants and leaders in immigration policy and advocacy, at the site of a recent ICE crackdown to decry President Trump’s abhorrent immigration Executive Orders and call for thoughtful, fair immigration policy.
According to recent news reports, ICE agents targeted Rising Hope Mission Church when they allegedly apprehended at least six men in close proximity to the church.
Reverend Dr. Keary Kincannon opened the conference by pointing out that the space was not only a church – it was a shelter for people at risk of hypothermia.
“These new policies of the Trump administration exist to incite fear,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “They exist to make immigrants feel unwelcome, to make them flee. We are here to make sure that we do not destroy the remarkable, inimitable fabric of our nation of immigrants with scorched earth immigration policies.”
“The policies of this administration are policies that divide and create fear,” Senator Kaine said. “If you do things that make our immigrant communities afraid of law enforcement, our entire communities become less safe. I am just here to add my voice to the voice of these great people and made it clear we are going to stand up against this.”
“When ICE goes after people seeking shelter from the cold at a church in Virginia, that affects immigrant communities in my district in California and across the country. ICE has been using heavy-handed tactics to intentionally incite fear in immigrant communities. However, raids do not make our neighborhoods safer or fix our broken immigration system. I am proud to stand with Congressman Don Beyer to protect immigrant communities everywhere,” said Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairwoman Rep. Linda Sanchez.
“We support law enforcement efforts to address violent crime. But we do not support immigration policies that make all undocumented people priorities for enforcement, severely reduce due process protections, and are an affront to the values of our country. We should craft immigration policies that recognize the economic and social contributions of immigrants and uphold the protections in our constitution,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Virginia State Senators Scott Surovell, Barbara Favola, and Adam Ebbin, along with Delegate Paul Krizek, Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Katie Cristol, Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg, and Fairfax County School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders joined in support of undocumented immigrants.
Nicholas Marritz from the Legal Aid Justice Center teleconferenced a local undocumented woman whose children were born in the United States, and translated her comments to those assembled on the legal challenges facing families like hers:
“I would ask the President that he govern with wisdom, because all of us who live in this country and under this flag have rights. May he respect the dignity of all human beings who live in the United States. ‘We The People’ make America great.”
Leaders from other non-governmental organizations working on behalf of undocumented individuals and families, including representatives from ACLU of Virginia, Lenka Mendoza of Dreamers Moms in Action, and Michelle LaRue of CASA attended to endorse the rights of Virginia’s undocumented population.