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Virginia Faith, Immigrant, and Minority Groups Denounce Hateful Rhetoric from Ed Gillespie and Virginia GOP, Launch ‘Stop the Hate’ Petition

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CASA in Action, NAACP-Prince William, Emgage Action, NAKASEC, Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies & Understanding, SEIU Virginia 512, Ironworkers Movement for Justice Coalition, Tenants and Workers United, Faith in Public Life Action Fund, Mason DREAMers, Adnan Bokhari, Showing Up for Racial Justice Northern Virginia, and ACLU People Power-Fairfax, all took part in the press conference

Woodbridge, VA — Today progressive organizations, along with community and faith leaders, denounced the Virginia Republican Party and its slate of candidates for state office for their divisive, racist, and all-out attack on Virginia’s immigrant community. The press conference organized by CASA in Action focused on the racist and xenophobic tactics, similar to those employed last year by Donald Trump, that have been employed by the Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie; Jill Vogel, candidate for lieutenant governor; John Adams, candidate for attorney general; as well as some Republicans running for the House of Delegates.

This year, Virginia Republicans up and down the ticket have used scare tactics and anti-immigrant rhetoric in ads and mailers to sharply divide residents of the commonwealth. The groups also sent a letter signed by over 25 organizations to the Republican candidates to stop demonizing immigrants and minorities, and to put an end to the “racist electoral tactics” currently being employed by the Republican campaigns. Read the full letter here.

“We denounce the abhorrent, disgusting tactics employed by Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, and John Adams seeking to continue oppressing, seeking to divide, seeking to gain political gain through the marginalization, scapegoating, and criminalizing the immigrant community. It is a grave mistake to continue attacking our community, and we will see this on Election Day,” said Luis Aguilar of CASA in Action.

“In this election, Virginians face a choice about the kind of state we want to be. The Latino families I work with here in Virginia want the same bright future as all of us and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The candidates need to follow the Golden Rule, not the Trump playbook of stoking fear and division. Virginia voters will make their preference for an inclusive, welcoming state known on November 7th,” said Sara Benitez of Faith in Public Life Action Fund.

“Republicans like to talk about the ‘trickledown effect’ when it comes to taxes. I am not sure the concept applies where money is concerned. I am certain, however, that there is a trickledown effect when it comes to morality and hatred. Our President is the Divider in Chief, and now Republican candidates for Virginia’s highest offices are following suit. We call on you to stop dividing Virginians. My father fought against the Nazis in WWII, not on behalf of White America, but for the all-American principles of justice and equality.  We are called the UNITED States of America for a reason. Live up to our name,” said Diana Alejandro of ACLU People Power Fairfax.

“Working people want elected officials who will raise wages and ensure affordable health care and quality education for our communities. We reject Ed Gillespie’s politics of hatred and fear, which are meant to divide working people and distract from his lack of plans to grow the middle class,” added David Broder of SEIU Virginia 512.

“The lies put forward by [Republican candidate for attorney general] John Adams that all undocumented students get in-state tuition or take spots away from others are extremely misleading. No human being is illegal and everyone deserves an opportunity to live a dignified life,” added Mayra Leiva of Mason DREAMers.

“It is a refreshing sight to see such a diverse group of community leaders and organizations coming together in a show of strength to push back against the dehumanizing tactics being used by the Republican Party of Virginia – especially the campaign of Ed Gillespie. As it has been clear since the first race-baiting ad that went out weeks ago, Ed Gillespie has proven time and again that he’s not ready to serve in the highest office in the commonwealth. The community has said ‘enough’ and has taken a stand against this type of desperation politics. Virginians are looking for candidates that unite us, not divide us, ” said Julio Lainez, State Director for America’s Voice: Virginia.


America’s Voice harnesses the power of American voices and American values to enact policy change that guarantees full labor, civil and political rights for immigrants and their families. For more information, visit www.americasvoice.org.


With 94,000+ lifetime members, CASA in Action is the largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights in the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information, please visit CASAinAction.org.

Follow Julio Lainez (@JulioCLainez), America’s Voice Virginia State Director, and America’s Voice (@AmericasVoice) on Twitter as we cover the Virginia elections of 2017.

Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice

America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform