Virginia Immigrant Organizations Continue the Fight for Immigrant Rights
Annandale, VA – One day after the election results, Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR), Voice of Vietnamese Americans (VVA), Virginia Coalition for Latino Organizations (VACOLAO), Dreamers Moms in Action (DMIA), and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) announced to continue moving forward to supporting, protecting, and strengthening our communities during this critical time. Leading up to elections, VACIR, VVA, VACOLAO, DMIA, NAKASEC and many community members mobilized immigrant voices for the elections. Throughout the past two months, NAKASEC knocked on 552 doors, called 5,679 voters, and registered 61 community members to vote. As we encouraged community members to stand up for worker’s rights by voting “no” to Virginia’s ballot question 1 throughout our canvassing efforts, we were successfully able to block this anti-worker amendment to our state constitution. We will continue to fight for our families by moving forward immigrant rights and to protect and strengthen DACA.
“Last night I was saddened that anger and fear seemed to triumph,” said Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, the Chair of VACOLAO. “But I am here to say that our work to push back and defend the rights of immigrant communities starts today. We have been down this road before and will once again work alongside the millions of Americans who recognize that the United States is a nation of immigrants who have helped build it into the great nation that it is and will demand that it recognize our contributions and respect and welcome us as so many have been before. I encourage all those who are upset this morning to stand up and find ways to join in this effort to defend the rights of all immigrants and reject hate.”
“A true leader builds bridges, and now is the time to unify our community. Making America great again, also means recognizing the extraordinary contributions of immigrants to the United States of America. Millions of Americans citizens support a pathway to citizenship. Not moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform will only continue to polarize our country, and divide our nation,” shared Leni Gonzalez, Chair of VACIR.
“Standing in solidarity with immigrant, refugee, and African American families we encourage all of our community and elected leaders to continue upholding our American values of welcoming community members from all walks of life in this critical time. As American citizens and refugees, we solemnly urge the newly elected president to uphold our American Values: that of Liberty and Justice for All and continue welcoming immigrant and refugee families. We urge Mr. Trump to continue raising the Torch of Freedom, uphold the constitution, and embrace all immigrants and refugees who are risking their lives for American Values,“ expressed Genie Nguyen, President and CEO of VVA.
Lenka Mendoza of DMIA said, “This is another set-back and we have to continue moving forward our immigrant families. We have had victories through our struggle advancing immigrant rights and we have come out of the shadows of fear and hate. We are not going back into the shadows. The fight might be more difficult, but not impossible for us to win for our families. Now is the time to stay united, be educated on your rights and to move forward together to win what we immigrant families rightfully deserve.”
“In this critical time period of uncertainty, it is needed to support and protect our immigrant families. Leading up to elections, NAKASEC mobilized immigrant voters to raise their voice in Virginia and to stand up for working families. We will continue to push forward our immigrant families’ voices to stand-up for our rights and fight back against hate and fear,” said Dong Yoon Kim, Program Director of NAKASEC.