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WHEREAS, Immigrant Heritage Month is observed during the month of June and a time for people to explore and celebrate their heritage; and
WHEREAS, we are a nation of immigrants, and it is the diversity of our communities that make our Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family; and
WHEREAS, one in eight Virginia residents is an immigrant, and immigrants comprise more than 15 percent of the Commonwealth’s workforce; and
WHEREAS, one in six workers is an immigrant and have been on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare professionals, retail workers, agricultural workers, and hospitality workers; and
WHEREAS, Virginia has established the Office of New Americans to assist immigrant integration within the Commonwealth on an economic, social, and cultural level; and
WHEREAS, the Office of New Americans Advisory Board was also established to advise the Governor, cabinet members, and the General Assembly on strategies to improve state policies and programs to support the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of new Americans throughout the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Virginia continues to reduce access barriers to our immigrant population by the historic passing of Driver Privilege Cards and expanding Medicaid eligibility; and
WHEREAS, our DREAMers and DACA recipients deserve an opportunity to continue their education and Virginia has expanded in-state tuition regardless of citizenship status; and
WHEREAS, Virginia supports a pathway to citizenship for essential immigrant workers and their families; and
WHEREAS, as we reflect and celebrate the past, we also honor the persistence, determination, and resilience of today’s immigrant communities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2021 as IMMIGRANT HERITAGE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.