78°Overcast

Virginia’s Senators, Rep. Connolly Denounce Trump Decision to End DACA Policy

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.

Trump said existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration. He also said that applications already in the pipeline will still be processed, and so will renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.

“This is a gradual process, not a sudden phase out,” the President said. “Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months.”

In his statement on the decision to end the program, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says it is a “moral outrage” that attacks people who have been “creating jobs, serving in our military [and] teaching our children.”

In Richmond, Gov. Terry McAuliffe also said the decision is “an attack on the fabric of our nation [that] makes us less safe and hurts our economy.”

Trump said that “enforcement priorities [will] remain unchanged, and that he has “advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”

45 Comments

All Aboard! Sen. Kaine Rides Silver Line

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) ride the Silver Line (Photo via Twitter/Tim Kaine)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) took a trip with Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld on the Silver Line today to check on the progress of its construction, WTOP reported.

The senator got on a train at Tysons Corner and rode it to the Wiehle-Reston East station. He then took a bus to Dulles International Airport, which is one of six future Silver Line stops.

“I’m very excited to see it,” Kaine said, according to WTOP. “It’s just a necessary project to keep up with the growth of Northern Virginia.”

Photo via Twitter/Tim Kaine

11 Comments

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is Clinton’s VP Candidate

When Hillary Clinton selected Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Thursday evening, it marked the first time since Woodrow Wilson that a Virginian is on the national ticket.

Virginia may be the mother of presidents — it’s had eight, more than any other state — just not in 100 years or so. And the last vice president from Virginia was John Tyler, who served for 30 days and then was vaulted to president upon the death of William Henry Harrison.

Kaine, 58, has represented Virginia in the U.S Senate since 2012. Prior to that he served as Virginia governor (2006-10) and Mayor of Richmond. He has a law degree from Harvard and spent a year as a Catholic missionary in Honduras (where he learned to speak fluent Spanish). He is also a former Democratic National Committee Chairman.

Kaine’s early legal career was spent in Richmond, representing clients in fair housing and racial discrimination cases. His attention to civil rights is one factor that makes him “a Reston kind of guy,” says Virginia Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston).

“Tim Kaine is a Reston kind of guy,” said Plum. “He made his mark early on in civil rights litigation. The kind of things our community stands for are the kind of things Tim Kaine stands for.”

Kaine and Clinton spoke together last week at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.

Kaine has made many appearances in Reston in recent years. He sat next to Reston founder Bob Simon at Simon’s 100th birthday celebration in April of 2014. He praised Simon as a visionary in creating an integrated new town in a divided south.

“In 1964, when Reston opened, discrimination was rampant and legal,” Kaine said that day at Lake Anne Plaza. “It wasn’t until 1968 that the federal Fair Housing Act was passed. It wasn’t until 1971 that the Virginia General Assembly passed the South’s first fair housing law. Bob [Simon] was a real visionary.

“When we look at Virginia history since World War II, Bob should be one of the five or six individuals [we talk about]. Bob took a state that was facing backward and turned it facing forward.”

Kaine also spoke at Simon’s celebration of life last April.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va. 11th) called Clinton’s pick of Kaine “a wise choice.”

“The choice for Vice President should not be symbolic,” Connolly said in a statement. “It is about qualifications. It is a position of great responsibility. Secretary Clinton has made a wise choice in selecting my friend, our Senator, Tim Kaine as her running mate.

“Tim has served honorably as Mayor of Richmond, Lieutenant Governor, Governor and Senator for all Virginians,” Connolly said. “He’s a deliberate and thoughtful legislator, a serious and substantive policy wonk, and a bridge builder. If you are looking for moral authenticity in politics look no further than Tim Kaine. I think the world of him.”

Kaine has received some criticism from the more liberal wing of the Democratic party, who are concerned with Kaine’s positions on global trade deals and Wall Street regulation. He has been an advocate of free trade and has defended the North American Free Trade Agreement, which some citizens blame for the loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Kaine is married to Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton. While governor in 2008, Kaine backed a $22 million proposal in the Virginia General Assembly to make pre-kindergarten education more accessible to at-risk four-year-olds.

Kaine is Catholic, and has said while he is personally against abortion, he supports a woman’s right to choose. He has also said he is against the death penalty.

Kaine is one of 35 senators given an “F” rating by the NRA.

On the Senate Armed Services committee, Kaine has maintained that Congressional approval is necessary for the commitment of U.S. troops, particularly in response to the Civil War in Syria and strikes against ISIS.

“Tim Kaine is the genuine article,” said Plum. “He is right on the issues, sincere in his approach to leadership, and credible. He will be a sharp contrast to the other side of the ticket. I think that will strengthen the ticket.”

Said Virginia’s senior senator Mark Warner:

“I enthusiastically applaud Secretary Clinton’s choice. Without reservation, I can say there is no one of higher integrity and trustworthiness. … “He always finds reasons for hope and optimism in every situation, and he is centered by his faith and his family. Our country, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be very well-served by electing Tim Kaine as Vice President.”

Kaine and Clinton will make their first appearance together Saturday in Miami.

29 Comments

With Clinton VP Pick Coming Soon, Eyes on Virginia’s Kaine

 Presumptive Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton will likely make her pick for vice president on Friday or Saturday, and a familiar name keeps surfacing among the frontrunners: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D).

Kaine, 58, is said to be among the top two Clinton is considering as the Democratic National Convention gets closer. The DNC is next week in Philadelphia.

The other top contender, according to The Washington Post, is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Clinton and Kaine campaigned together last week in Annandale.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday Kaine would be someone President Obama would recommend to Clinton as a vice-presidential pick.

Kaine attended Harvard Law School and was a Catholic missionary in Honduras (he is fluent in Spanish) before entering politics. He has served as Mayor of Richmond, Governor of Virginia and was elected to the senate in 2012.

Here is what would happen to Kaine’s Senate seat should he become VP.

Kaine will be in Northern Virginia all day today. In the morning, Kaine will host a roundtable discussion in Arlington with local advocacy groups on immigration reform. In the afternoon, he will host a roundtable discussion at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling with leaders of the Northern Virginia interfaith and civil rights communities to discuss the importance of tolerance and religious freedom in light of recent rhetoric surrounding Muslim communities in America.

Would adding Kaine to the ticket influence your vote? Take our poll.

4 Comments

Clinton to Campaign with Kaine in Fairfax County Thursday

Hillary Clinton/HillaryClinton.com Presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Fairfax County on Thursday, where she will campaign with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

The appearance is from 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. at Ernst Gymnasium at Northern Virginia Community College,  8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale.

Want to attend? Go to Clinton’s website and RSVP to get more details.

The Clinton campaign says the two “will discuss their shared commitment to building an America that is stronger together, while emphasizing that Donald Trump’s divisive agenda would be dangerous for America.”

Kaine, 58, is the junior senator from Virginia (elected in 2012) and was formerly Virginia’s governor. He has been mentioned by several national news sources as a possible vice presidential pick for Clinton.

Clinton should be making her pick for VP anytime between the end of the Republican National Convention July 21 and the start of the Democratic National Convention July 25.

9 Comments

Sen. Kaine Pays a Visit to Reston’s Lake Anne ES

Tim Kaine at Lake Anne ES/Credit: Sarah Peck

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) visited Reston’s Lake Anne Elementary School on Wednesday, where he discussed with administrators issues such as the need for more mental health services and early childhood education resources.

Kaine visited the school, which has a large Spanish-speaking population as well as a Spanish Immersion program, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

After the meeting, Kaine joined three classes — a first grade, a Spanish immersion, and a Head Start class — where he talked to students read to them in English and Spanish. Kaine is fluent in Spanish after spending time doing mission work in Honduras in the early 1980s.

Photo by Sarah Peck/Office of Tim Kaine

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list