Democrat Who Opposes Sanctuary Cities Wins Virginia Governor’s Race


In the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie, immigration was a key issue. Northam, 58, the 40th and current lieutenant governor of Virginia, won, and had 925,203 votes or 51.8 percent of the vote with 74 percent of precincts reporting, according to The New York Times.

Photo: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Gillespie, 56, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee as well as counselor to President George W. Bush, had 869,346 votes or 46.8 percent with 76 percent of the precincts reporting, according to The New York Times.

“Clearly immigration has played a significant role in the campaign,” Mark Krikorian, executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan immigration research organization, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview, adding:

Don’t take my word for it, ask Ralph Northam. He was first boasting about having cast the deciding vote to kill an anti-sanctuary bill in the Legislature when he was lieutenant governor.

After Gillespie aired an ad that claimed that Northam cast a deciding vote on Feb. 22 in favor of sanctuary cities, Krikorian said Northam’s stance on immigration changed.

[Since] Gillespie’s ads criticizing MS-13 and sanctuary cities, Northam has now flipped and said that if some city did declare it a sanctuary, he would act to stop it if he were governor.

In an article published Nov. 1, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

In an interview Wednesday with the Norfolk TV station WAVY, Northam said for the first time that, under certain circumstances, he would sign a bill similar to the one he voted against this year, a vote that spawned a wave of ominous ads from the Gillespie campaign linking Northam to the Latino gang MS-13.

‘If that bill comes to by desk … I sure will. I’ve always been opposed to sanctuary cities. He knows that,’ Northam said of Gillespie …

The Center for Immigration Studies lists Arlington County and Chesterfield County in Virginia as sanctuary cities.

Northam’s position on sanctuary cities drew criticism from some on the left. Progressive group Democracy for America’s executive director Charles Chamberlain released this statement last week:

Ralph Northam’s gutless, politically senseless, and morally debased decision yesterday to openly backtrack on his commitment to standing up for immigrant families is a picture-perfect example of why Democracy for America never endorsed him in the primary … It’s also why, today, we’re announcing that we will no longer do any work to directly aid Northam’s gubernatorial efforts.

Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, which describes itself as having a “mission … to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump agenda,” tweeted this about Northam’s position:

I want to elect @RalphNortham, but parroting Gillespie’s hateful xenophobia is despicable. Find your spine, Ralph. 

Northam says he’d ban sanctuary cities if one ever appears in Virginia

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam said Wednesday that he would sign a bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities if a Virginia locality tries to become one in the future.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, agrees the immigration issue was influential in the Old Dominion’s 2017 governor’s race.

“Given the fact that Virginians are concerned about sanctuary cities like Virginia Beach and with recent reports of noncitizens voting in Virginia elections, there’s no question that immigration was probably a factor in how Virginians voted,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal in an interview.

President Donald Trump made his support of Gillespie no secret on social media.

.@EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone. Vote today, ASAP!

Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia. He’s weak on crime, weak on our GREAT VETS, Anti-Second Amendment….

Trump also participated in a robo call for Gillespie on Tuesday.

“Ed will protect your family from crime, drugs, and violence—something Northam will never do. And Ed loves the vets, loves the military, and loves your Second Amendment,” Trump said during the call.

Ken Cuccinelli, the 46th attorney general of Virginia from 2010-2014, told The Daily Signal in an interview that Democrats worked to make the gubernatorial race about race and immigration. Gillespie’s focus on MS-13, a gang with ties to illegal immigrants, drew criticism from some.

“The other side tried to turn it into a race-baiting thing,” Cuccinelli said, adding:

The problem is, it wasn’t race-baiting, it was fact-telling, and you know, they don’t deal well with the truth, and so it began an interesting back and forth, [but] they overreacted so badly that it really played into Gillespie’s hands to then push again the factual subject, [that] Northam had a vote where he supported sanctuary cities, arguably, and then Northam flip-flopped on it.

The former Virginia attorney general said an ad that came out by the Latino Victory Project in opposition to Gillespie further illustrated how the left distorted Gillespie’s stance on immigration.

“It falls in the category of the left just going overboard … the other side has done it with some of their over-the-top, basically false bigotry charges, and that ad was the granddaddy of them all on that front,” Cuccinelli said.

Logan Churchwell, communications and research director at Public Interest Legal Foundation, a law firm centered on election integrity, told The Daily Signal in an interview that the truck ad illustrated how liberals framed the immigration discussion.

“That truck ad was despicable, and I think it puts in video form how some political interests are comfortable leveraging and exploiting first generation immigrant populations to basically generate a political outcome in the elections that they are hoping for,” Churchwell said.

The ad was taken down Oct. 31, and Cristóbal J. Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund, said in a statement posted on Twitter that the ad “held a mirror up to the Republican Party, and they don’t like what they see.”

New Jersey choose Democrat Phil Murphy over Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno as its next governor Tuesday night.

The Center for Immigration Studies lists Middlesex County, Newark, Ocean County, and Union County as sanctuary cities in New Jersey.

The issue is not going away anytime soon, said Krikorian at the Center for Immigration Studies.

Continual attention to immigration enforcement as an anti-gang tool is going to be essential, and Northern Virginia is going to have a very direct interest in national immigration policy trying to limit the influx of central American illegal immigrants, because this area is, after Los Angeles, the No. 2 location in the country for Central Americans and … their communities inevitably serve as cover and incubators for these kinds of national criminal gangs, MS-13 [being] just the most notorious of them.

This is a guest post by Rachel del Guidice a reporter for The Daily Signal.
  • Clete Tacker

    So when this is all boiled down it seems the simple conclusion is that Northam LIED about his true stance and voting record on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and “sanctuary cities” in order to get the uninformed and ignorant to vote for him. Wait, that is what the socialist liberals always do.

    • Robert

      Clete Tacker
      You can complain about a politician lying, when the one that was elected President can hardly tell the truth, just lies to make himself look or feel good.
      If you are worried about Socialism, that is the only way this country will survive, a huge population and no industry, because we priced our labor right out of the country to cheap labor.

      • Clete Tacker

        I simply stated the fact that Northam LIED about his stance and record on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Then I simply stated the fact that is what socialist liberals do. WE didn’t price ourselves out of industry, the socialist liberal tax lovers who have refused to lower the corporate tax rate certainly helped kill industry. Businesses won’t stay where they are killed with taxes, it’s really a very simple concept. And you may believe socialism will work here in the states at the moment, but when the socialist liberal programs that are financially unsustainable kill the economy like it has done the world over it will certainly collapse.

        • Robert

          Clete Tacker
          How many businesses have you run in the manufacturing industry. Now every one who runs a business wants to make money. Now in manufacturing the least it will cost you in labor costs is about 40% of costs, now being no company pays more than about 20% in Corporate tax now which expense would you get rid of first, when the cheapest labor you can get for industry in this country would be $15 per hour, and plus insurances and Workers Comp, now in China for instance you will get a 12 hour shift for the same $15 and none of the other expenses, because they are a Socialistic economy and you do not have to carry insurance on them. I set on the boards of two Multi National Corporations, one paid 18% and the other paid just over 20% in Corporate income tax, due to all the loop holds and tax breaks.
          The only way they stay in the US is because they have automated with ROBOTS, what used to be a 125 man assembly line now takes 16 people. Anyone who has been in business knows this, even the President is using imported labor because it is cheaper. Now if Corporate tax is the problem why would Trump import his laborers.
          If you think Democratic Socialism has killed the economy the world over maybe you should take more of a look at unbiased places, Democratic Socialism causes the economy to grow.

          Now Democratic Socialism has been in Europe since industry moved from there to the USA in the early 1900s because we were the cheap labor lots of immigrants and no industry.
          HAVE A GOOD DAY

          • Clete Tacker

            No kidding Einstein, yes everyone in business wants to make money. But here in the states where businesses are saddled with expensive and ever growing rules and regulations and high taxes to pay for the socialist liberal agenda it is killing businesses and causing them to flee, what more proof do you need. It is just like the socialist liberals on the west coast passing 15$ an hour minimum wage to flip burgers and the fools thought they were getting a good deal, but now that they start to lose their jobs because what they do is not worth it to the business, what did they think would happen. So the people that backed the feel good 15$ minimum wage cut their own throats with their socialist liberal mindset that an entry level unskilled job should pay more that it is worth. The point is maybe there would be more money to stay in business here in the states and pay higher wages if not strangled by taxes and expensive guidelines that keep growing. Using your China example, do you think there is any way possible to compete with communist China if as you say you can get a 12 hour shift for 15 bucks, that obvious answer is NO. That is one of the reasons that President Trump has said we need better deals that benefit America as opposed to the stupid deals others have made in past that benefit the other country and ultimately hurt the United States. Do you truly believe that the crumbling dissolving EU, along with importing hoards of Muslims is doing so great with its failing feel good socialist liberalism? Just look at the countries and regions wanting out of the withering controlling EU. Venezuela is doing great as well after Chavez took over everything and told the people they would be taken care of. It is all socialist liberal lies.
            It is certainly your right to believe socialism brings prosperity and a growing economy, but looking the world over you know that it is not true. But like I have heard, there is a fool born every minute.
            YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY.

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