Supporting Immigrant Communities
Here’s the Problem
Immigrants are what make our Commonwealth great. In Prince William County, where my district is located, nearly 25 percent of the population are immigrants. Virginia’s immigrant families strengthen our communities, undergird our local economies, and bring incredible diversity and dynamism to our Commonwealth.
The ways we leave immigrant families behind are unconscionable. This is evident in the significant disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, with Latinx communities among the hardest hit. These disparities stem largely from longstanding systemic inequities such as lack of access to healthcare, inadequate housing, and jobs that don’t have paid medical leave or an option to stay home to stay safe during this pandemic.
My Plans as Governor
I’m excited to continue these efforts as Governor and will fight to enact policies to build a more equitable and better Virginia for all.
- Create a list of approved, certified native-speaking translation vendors who come from the communities they serve and require all translated public notices to use those services.
- Fund bilingual, in-house employees from immigrant communities in state agencies.
- Prioritize vaccine distribution in the hardest-hit communities and dedicate resources for outreach including text programs and bilingual radio ads to meet community members where they are.
- Ensure that not only public health information is correctly translated, but also that labor, workers compensation, and harassment rights are translated correctly and proactively communicated, especially to workers in the domestic care, home healthcare, and construction workforces.
My Record & Experience
As a public defender, I saw how immigrants are treated unequally in the criminal justice system, and I ran for Delegate to be an advocate for immigrants.
As a Delegate, I:
- Called on Governor Northam to ensure broader outreach to Latinx families during COVID-19.
- Called for greater rent support for all Virginians, regardless of their immigration status.
- Fought for increased funding for rent relief programs and representation for eviction proceeding cases.
- Worked to pass the Virginia Dream Act, bringing higher education to all our Virginians regardless of their immigration status.
- Supported legislation to make it possible for undocumented residents to acquire driver’s licenses.
- Proposed a budget amendment to repeal outdated work restrictions that prevent many from accessing the healthcare that they need.
- Passed a bill to allow English language learners (ELL) to take a coding class to satisfy the foreign language requirement.
- Advocated and fought alongside the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, CASA in Action, and other advocacy groups to get rid of 287G in Prince William County.
- Created and led a “Diversifying the Judicial Bench” initiative that helped appoint the first Latino judge in Prince William County to ensure that judges and courtrooms reflect the communities they serve.
More Issues & Priorities
- Access to Broadband
- Affordable Housing
- Childcare & Early Childhood Education
- Clean Government & Ethics
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Gender Equality
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Health Care
- Jobs & the Economy
- Labor & Working Families
- Protecting LGBTQIA+ Rights
- Racial Justice
- Supporting Virginians with Disabilities