The following elected officials and immigration advocates expressed support this week for Attorney General Mark Herring's decision to support targeted immigration reform that "will increase state tax revenue, enhance public safety, and help avoid tragic situations in which parents are deported away from their U.S. citizen children."
J. Walter Tejada, member of the Arlington County Board and recipient of the 2011 Immigrant Advocate of the Year Award from the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition:
"Virginia can no longer afford to delay these needed immigration reforms. Immigrants are a huge part of our economy, and allowing them to come out of the shadows will help them create and secure good jobs, pay taxes, and become more included in our society. These reforms will also continue the American tradition of keeping families unified and not causing incredible hardships by splitting them up. I appreciate Attorney General Herring's leadership in standing up for the economic, social, and public safety benefits these reforms will offer our state."
Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington, Fairfax):
"America's immigration system is broken at the Federal level. With the repeated refusal by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to address this critical issue President Obama's reasonable administrative actions can only be viewed as sensible and appropriate. Beyond the issues of public safety and the moral importance of keeping families together these administrative actions also make economic sense. The Council of Economic Advisors conservatively estimates that the administrative actions taken by President Obama on immigration will raise the level of U.S. GDP between .4 percent over 10 years — equal to $90 billion in real GDP — and cut the Federal deficit by $25 billion. These figures could go substantially higher. I applaud Attorney General Herring for filing the amicus brief supporting the President's efforts to reform and improve the nation's immigration system."
Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium):
"We welcome Attorney General Mark Herring's stance and announcement in support of the President's executive actions on DACA and DAPA, which would allow students in Virginia to have access to affordable higher education and immigrant parents to continue to contribute to Virginia but with a legal right to work that would allow for fair treatment. According to the Center for American Progress, if DACA and DAPA are implemented, the U.S. gross domestic product would increase by $230 billion and 28,814 jobs would be created over the next 10 years. DACA and DAPA are good for America and Virginia."
Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, president of VACOLAO (Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations):
"The amicus brief is important to our community because it strengthens the position of the President because the highest legal authority in the state supports DACA and DAPA for students and parents. Our community should understand that we will prevail."