Terry McAuliffe (D) has vowed to make Virginia a welcoming state by not tolerating any sort of discrimination, including race, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, and religion:
- McAuliffe supports creating a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in this country.
- He supports the state DREAM ACT, which would allow immigrant children who came to Virginia with their parents to pay in-state tuition costs at public universities in the Commonwealth.
- During the gubernatorial debate on Jul 21, McAuliffe said it would be “one of my finest hours” to sign a Virginia version of the DREAM Act as governor.
- During the first debate between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, McAuliffe stated his reasoning for declaring Virginia an open state by saying, “It goes back to the core basic issue of treating people with fairness, making people feel welcome, making sure Virginia is an open, a welcoming state. It’s important for our nation and it’s important to all the folks in this country today who we want to give them a pathway to citizenship.”
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is a staunch opponent of immigrant rights and comprehensive immigration reform:
- He is one of the founders of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a group designed to cut off economic, education, and employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants.
- As a state senator in 2008, Cuccinelli advocated for the modification of the 14th Amendment, rescinding the law which makes birthright citizenship automatic, thus making a person born in the United States ineligible for citizenship, unless their parent was already a citizen.
- Also in 2008, Cuccinelli introduced a proposal that gave bosses the authority to fire employees who did not speak English in the workplace, thereby disqualifying them for employment benefits.
- Cuccinelli supports repealing EMTALA, a law requiring emergency rooms to provide services to individuals regardless of immigration status and financial stability.
- When asked what would happen to those who could not afford treatment but were in need of medical care, he responded, “human beings will adjust.”
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