Our Mission

VACIR is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities.

Author Archives: Ariel Garayar

Upcoming Executive Order Forgets How Essential All Immigrants Are

For Immediate Release  

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Contact: Press@vacir.org

Upcoming Executive Order Forgets How Essential All Immigrants Are

Arlington, Va. — Last night, President Trump tweeted his intent to suspend immigration due to COVID-19. Reports indicate that an executive order will be announced today.

Monica Sarmiento, Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights releases the following statement:

“At a time where there is already suspended travel in other countries, the executive order would not mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The executive order would be insulting to hard working immigrants and their contributions to our communities. 

The United States is dependent on both documented and undocumented immigrants. Immigrant workers are making sure there is food on the table, researching cures, taking care of people in hospitals and keeping facilities clean. 

No person should be singled out when the pandemic has already spread. We need to focus on putting forth policies that protect people’s health and safety while promoting economic stability for families who are unable to access unemployment benefits.

Immigration is essential to keeping the United States functioning and safe. Halting immigration is detrimental to the safety and well being of all Americans.

Information about Virginia’s Immigrant Community: 

  • Virginia’s immigrants pay over $256 million in taxes 
  • 6,700 TPS Holders and 2,700 DACA Recipients are essential workers during COVID-19
  • As of 2014, there are over 269,000 Undocumented Immigrants in Virginia.
  • 3.5 % of Virginia’s Population is Undocumented.

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Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities.

Virginia’s Immigrant Community is Earns the Right to Drive

For Immediate Release                                 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Contact: Press@vacir.org

Virginia’s Immigrant Community is Earns the Right to Drive

Richmond,VA — Monica Sarmiento, the Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights releases the following statement in regards to the passage of HB 1211, the driver’s privilege cards bill that would allow the 270,000 immigrants in Virginia the right to drive:

“The right to drive has been the number one issue for the immigrant community in Virginia. The newfound ability for immigrant families to drive to work, pick up their kids from school and get to the grocery store will make an immense impact on their day to day lives. 

The fight has always been about improving the quality of life for immigrants. Although driver’s licenses is the equitable approach, driver’s privilege card accomplishes the overall goal of providing the undocumented community the opportunity to drive with the necessary privacy protections. 

Driver’s privilege cards will give many families the ability to have reliable transportation for the first time. It will help ease the minds of the families who worry that their loved one is not coming home due to driving without a license or being pulled over at a routine traffic stop.

The unity from many organizations and advocates from across Virginia to rally, make phone calls, email their legislators, host vigils and march to support issues for the right to drive has given many immigrant families hope and a new found support system. We are looking forward to continuing our work to protect the rights of the immigrant and refugee community.”

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Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities.

Our Members

UFCW Local 400
VACOLAO
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Bread For The World
Emgage
Legal Aid Justice Center
Neighbor's Keeper
Sacred Heart Center
HOLA
SEIU 512
American Jewish Committee