As the Virginia General Assembly winds down, CASA celebrates major policy victories for immigrants and for workers. Among the many progressive victories celebrated across the session, CASA was proud to contribute to the passage of an increase of the state minimum wage that puts Virginians on a path to get to $15 an hour, passage of driver’s privilege cards for the undocumented, in-state tuition for immigrant youth, and a dramatic increase in state support for educational programming for English Learners.
“There is a lot more work to do, especially as we return to our local communities to demand pro-immigrant and pro-worker policies,” said Luis Angel Aguilar, Virginia Director of CASA. “But it is important to take a pause to reflect on the extraordinary advances that we have achieved in these 60 days.”
Across session, CASA activists streamed into Richmond to lobby legislators. CASA brought 647 people to Richmond to fight for the minimum wage increase. Several CASA members spoke at press conferences and rallies describing the difficulty of surviving on the low wages they were paid. CASA brought 913 people to Richmond to fight for immigrant rights filling the galleries and hearing rooms on multiple occasions. That type of constant presence took a real toll on families struggling to make a living but it made an impact on the process.
“Families have come from the Eastern Shore for years to fight for licenses,” said Severiano Ventura, a CASA member that organized multiple buses to travel to Richmond. “We will remember the legislators that failed to fight for our families but for now we are celebrating a win we have waited years for.”