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Video: Sen. Kaine Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Says “We’ve Got No Excuse” Not To Pass Immigration Reform, Despite Parliamentarian’s Ruling

Del. Alfonso Lopez says we need more Latino representation; Del. Elizabeth Guzman urges Latinos to "use our superpower, which is voting, and let's decide the upcoming elections"

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Earlier today, Sen. Tim Kaine attended (to quote his office’s description) a “hybrid outdoor and livestreamed celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month in Arlington where he [recognized] exemplary Latinos from across the Commonwealth for their contributions to their communities. Honorees are from Christiansburg, Roanoke, Fairfax, Alexandria, Virginia Beach, and Richmond.” See below for video of remarks by Sen. Kaine, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Elizabeth Guzman (plus musicians, dancers, honorees, etc.). A few highlights include:

  • Sen. Kaine talked about efforts in the U.S. Senate to pass immigration reform. According to Sen. Kaine, we’ve “come close” (e.g., in 2013), but “now we have majorities, so we’ve got no excuse…we have to find a path forward to do meaningful and permanent – not temporary, not executive action – meaningful and permanent immigration reform.” According to Sen. Kaine, Democrats are working on this through the “reconciliation” bill on human infrastructure. Sen. Kaine said the Parliamentarian’s ruling that “you can’t do dramatic changes in status from undocumented to…citizen in a reconciliation bill.” So “here’s what we’re going to do; we are exploring with the Parliamentarian and others…how much we can do…and we’ll likely know the answer to that question within the next two weeks. And then everything we can’t get done in reconciliation, we’re firing back up the discussions…about what can we do for TPS recipients, how do we provide more resources for our immigration courts…”
  • Del. Lopez noted that Latinos now make up 10.5% of Virginia’s population, up from 0.9% in 1970, the year he was born. According to Del. Lopez, “you made the difference” in helping Democrats take back the Virginia House of Delegates and pass a huge list of progressive legislation, including the Virginia DREAM Act. Del. Lopez said “we need more” Latino representation, including a Latino State Senator, Latino Congressperson, etc. He encouraged Latinos to run for office and “emulate your inner Tim Kaine.”
  • Del. Guzman said Sen. Kaine’s “been with us every step of the way since he was the governor…to fight back against 287(g)…and to push back against those haters who wanted to demonize our community.” Del. Guzman said Latinos should “use our superpower, which is voting, and let’s decide the upcoming elections, because yes, Latinos will decide the upcoming elections this November 2.

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