Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) released the following statement after Governor Northam’s signing of HB 1547, popularly known as the Virginia Dream Act:
“After years of work in the legislature–and decades of activism from educators, students, and advocates across the Commonwealth–the Virginia Dream Act has finally been signed into law, expanding in-state tuition to undocumented students for the first time. For young people across Virginia who were denied the opportunity to earn a higher education due to their immigration status, this law will have a dramatic impact on their lives.
“This is an important victory for thousands of Virginians, but it’s also a particularly emotional victory for me and my family. I first introduced this bill in 2012–my first session in the House of Delegates–in honor of my parents: my father, who was an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela, and my late mother, who dedicated her career as an educator to helping students find ways to afford college. Though my mother could not be with us today to celebrate this measure being signed into law, I know she’d be as overjoyed as I am that so many young Virginians will now have a pathway to a college degree. This is truly a dream come true!”