Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement yesterday hailing the stand taken by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe not to try to stop Syrian refugees from relocating to Virginia, even as dozens of governors of other states have done otherwise.
Gastanaga said, “The ACLU of Virginia commends Gov. McAuliffe for having the courage not to attempt to block settlement in Virginia of Syrian refugees fleeing violent civil war in their homeland. It’s the right thing to do. To do otherwise would violate the rule of law and subject people to government discrimination based on their ethnicity or religion. Sadly, some Virginia politicians now are threatening to try to use the legislature to undertake the cruel, fear-based tack that the governor has rejected. Should that happen, the ACLU will stand up for the civil rights and basic humanity of all those affected, including existing and future Virginia residents.”