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by Dave Emke September 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 45 Comments

An announcement Tuesday morning from the Trump Administration that it will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy has elicited spirited response from Virginia’s Democratic delegation in Congress.

DACA, implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012, allows nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in the United States to apply for renewable two-year visas. It is available to individuals who arrived in the United States before the year 2007 who were under the age of 16 at the time of arrival and under the age of 31 at the time of implementation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday morning on behalf of the Administration. Afterward, both of Virginia’s senators released statements of outrage on their Twitter accounts. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says the decision is “heartless.”

The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act has been introduced several times in Congress in recent years. The current version was introduced in July by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). It would institute a multi-phase process for qualifying alien minors (so-called “DREAMers”) in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), in his statement, said DACA is a “promise” that has allowed children of undocumented immigrants to “realize their full potential.”

In a statement released following Sessions’ remarks, President Donald Trump said DACA has “helped spur a humanitarian crisis — the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13.”

The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.

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by Karen Goff November 5, 2014 at 10:22 am 0

Sen. Mark WarnerThe Mark Warner (D) campaign has declared victory in the Virginia race for U.S. Senate, however challenger Ed Gillespie has not yet conceded the race.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Warner had 49.11 percent of the vote over Gillespie’s 48.34 percent, according to the Virginia Board of Elections.

The Warner campaign will hold a noon press conference to discuss a possible recount, which is allowed under Virginia law if the margin is less than 1 percent.

Canvassing to check votes began early this morning at the Fairfax County Government Center. A recount could happen if the trailing candidate requests it. If the margin of votes is less than half a percent of the total vote, the candidate can appeal to the State Board of Elections to request a recount, which the government will finance. If the margin is greater than 0.5 percent but less than one percent of total vote, the candidate may also request a recount, but has to pay for himself.

The Virginia race was a surprisingly close one. It looks to end with Democratic incumbent Warner bucking the Republican tide that enabled the GOP to take control of the Senate.

Read more about the changing momentum of this race in this Washington Post story. Read more about the candidates in this previous Reston Now story.

In Fairfax County, Warner earned 175,687 votes to Gillespie’s 122,790. Warner also received more votes in all Reston precincts.

This story will be updated as vote tallies become official.

Photo: Mark Warner/Reston Now file photo.

by Karen Goff September 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm 1 Comment

Mark Warner (R) in Battleground Virginia Forum Ed Gillespie (R)  in Battleground Virginia Forum U.S. Senate candidates Mark Warner (D) and Ed Gillespie (R) were asked about a wide range of topics at Friday’s Battleground Virginia Forum at the Center for Innovative Technology near Dulles.

Among the questions: the Affordable Care Act, balancing the budget, the Marketplace Fairness Act, Virginia’s economy and student loan debt.

But the answers seemed to return to two themes: Gillespie pairing Warner with President Barack Obama and Warner pointing out his record of bipartisanship.

The event — sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, along with chambers from Loudoun, Fredericksburg, and Prince William — was not a debate. The candidates appeared separately and were asked questions from a panel of chamber reps, as well as follow-ups from moderator Derek McGinty from WUSA 9 TV.

Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chair, said Warner, first elected to the Senate in 2008, is not representing Virginia’s best interests.

“He has voted 97 percent of time with Obama,” said Gillespie. “Instead of being a vote for us, he has been a blank check for president Obama. Since Warner and Obama took office, we have nearly twice as many people go on food stamps than we have had jobs created.”

Warner pointed out that every piece of legislation he has worked on in the Senate has been alongside a Republican counterpart. He said Gillespie comes from a partisan world where it is always Republican vs. Democrats.

“If there is ever a time to drop partisanship  and come together, that time is now,” said Warner. “If you want someone able to take arrows from both sides, I would respectfully ask you to rehire me. Don’t lose heart — there are more good people with goodwill in both parties. We have just got to and make it safe for them to work together again.”

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by Karen Goff September 15, 2014 at 11:00 am 0

Sen. Mark WarnerU.S. Senate candidates Mark Warner (D) and Ed Gillespie (R) will talk about Virginia’s role in business and technology at a “Battleground Forum” sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

The forum — not a debate — will take place at the Center for Innovative Technology, 2214 Rock Hill Road, Herndon, at 11 a.m.  Visit the Chamber website for ticket information.

Incumbent Warner, first elected to the Senate in 2008, and challenger Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chair, have made similar appearances around Northern Virginia in recent weeks, including another Reston forum last week. at that event, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Warner defended his reputation as a centrist when Gillespie said that Warner’s voting record showed across-the-board support for President Obama.

Ed Gillespie/Credit: Ed Gillespie campaignA poll released last week by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University showed Warner leading Gillespie 53 percent to 31 percent.

Friday’s event  is presented in partnership with the Loudoun County, Prince William and Fredricksburg Regional Chambers of Commerce.

Photos: Top, Sen. Mark Warner/file photo; Bottom, Ed Gillespie/file photo

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