Rep. Connolly Meets With Virginia Immigrants

For Immediate Release:
June 24, 2016

Contact:
Emily Kessel, eakessel@nakasec.org
Nicky Vogt, vogt@newpartners.com

Following United States v Texas Decision, Representative Connolly Meets With Virginia Immigrants As Part of “DAPA Dinners” Campaign

Annandale, VA— Following Thursday’s 4-4 decision in the Supreme Court United States v. Texas case, Representative Connolly joined National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) to break bread with two Virginian immigrants and discuss the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs and how their implementation would impact immigrant families in Virginia. While this split decision sets no Supreme Court precedent, these important, commonsense policies will unfortunately remain blocked nationwide.

Representative Connolly said, “Each new wave of immigrants refreshes the American spirit, making communities like ours in Northern Virginia stronger and more vibrant. Rather than putting up walls and erecting barriers, Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform. However, in the absence of action, DACA and DAPA offer DREAMers hope for a brighter future.”

Bati Tsogtsaikhan, a DACA recipient from Virginia whose parents are DAPA-eligible, said I moved to the U.S. with my parents from Mongolia at the age of 10, graduated high school, received my associate’s degree in business administration from NVCC, completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at George Mason University, and was selected for a job at Cityworth to gain experience in the world of finance. I have always been committed to working while going to school to help support my family and build a path for my future career. DACA has lessened the burden and allowed me to concentrate on my education and secure a full-time job post-graduation. I want DAPA to do for my family what DACA has done for me. I want my parents to have an opportunity to find fair paying jobs to better support my younger brother and not live in fear of being separated from my brother and me. I am extremely disappointed by Thursday’s decision. But I remind the community to not give up and keep fighting.”

Max Kim, a Virginia DACA applicant, said, “This June I graduated from Annandale High School and am ready to pursue my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur in graphic design and opening my own restaurant. I decided to apply for DACA after hearing about the success stories of DACA recipients during the Dream Riders Across America tour and being involved in local Virginia campaigns. The benefits of deferred action should extend beyond DACA. DAPA and DACA+ are the next steps to making dreams possible for immigrants who see America as their home. While we continue to fight to unfreeze these expanded programs, I urge all eligible members in my community to apply for DACA because this is how we demonstrate to the courts and America that these deferred action programs and our families matter.”

Approximately 91,000 Virginia immigrants would be eligible for deportation deferral, work permits, and state driver’s licenses under the immigration programs announced by President Obama in 2014.

The June 24th dinner was part of a nationwide “DAPA Dinners” campaign. The initiative invites 2016 political candidates, Senators, Representatives, and local politicians to join an immigrant family for a meal to discuss how federal immigration actions impact children, families, and communities. This will be the latest in a series of meetings between politicians and DAPA-eligible families. To learn more about the DAPA Dinners campaign and other candidates who have participated click here.