Advocates Against Family Separation Protest Cuccinelli Defeat Party

Virginians – especially Rep. Cantor’s constituents – overwhelmingly support comprehensive immigration reform


RICHMOND, VA – Advocates against the Family Separation Agenda of extreme factions of the Republican Party protested and took over the Ken Cuccinelli Defeat Party in Richmond Tuesday night, driving home an important electoral point:  Anti-immigrant postures will continue to cost the GOP more and more key races.

If Republicans intend to climb back to relevance, they must support a commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform with a strong path to citizenship.

Shortly before the concession speech of Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidate E. W.  Jackson, immigrant rights activist Gustavo Andrade took over the stage to lecture a phalanx of Republican dignitaries that the Time Is Now for Immigration Reform.

Meanwhile dozens of activists spanned out across the crowd distributing information about the economic contributions of immigrants in Virginia and quotes from Independent, Republican, and Immigrant voters from the state that strongly support reform.  As security moved in, the activists formed a march line through the crowd chanting “What Do We Want? Immigration Reform.  When Do We Want It? Now.”

In Rep. Cantor’s district alone, support for reform ranged from 94 to a stunning high of 98 percent in exit polls yesterday. Indeed, Republican voters understand the moral importance of keeping families together, and the contributions of immigrants to the past and present of our country.  Several at the polls commented that they supported the “Marco Rubio” plan.

Just months after last year’s disastrous presidential defeat, Republicans promised to roll back the anti-immigrant, family separation agenda and claimed to “rebrand,” in order to stop the minority voter hemorrhage that proved so costly at the polls. But with the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate comparing immigrant mothers and fathers to rats, angry voters supported the opponent instead.

Lost in the rhetoric is why immigration reform matters to Hispanic families and immigrants, and why we will continue to use our electoral muscle until the very last anti-immigrant is elected out of office. The Republican family separation agenda carries a painful, disastrous consequence for our immigrant families: More than 1,100 deportations a day mean children are left with fathers, mothers are ripped from their daughters, and havoc is wreaked on otherwise healthy, hard-working families.

So it’s no wonder that our families were all too happy to take the stage last night at Cuccinelli’s defeat party, addressing assembled crowd, chanting, and passing out fliers explaining the importance of supporting reform. One attendee defensively told an activist that the Republican Party was doing a fine job reaching out to minority communities as evidenced by the crowd in the event.

For our families, it’s clear. We will continue working hard until the GOP comes to its senses and passes comprehensive immigration reform.



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