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"Never Again!" My Floor Speech Condemning the Trump Travel Ban

January 16 in Richmond, VA

When the Democratic Leadership of the House of Delegates asked me to speak out against last week's Executive Order, I spoke straight from the heart

I compared the current ban on lawfully admitted and vetted refugees, fleeing mass murder in Syria, to the 1939 attempted exodus of German Jews, turned away at our border and sent back to the gas chambers. I called on every Delegate -- and particularly Republicans who have fallen silent -- to speak out in defense of American values and our immigrant history. I urged them to reject fear. To say, "Never Again!"

After the speech, I was surprised and extremely gratified to receive a sustained standing ovation from both the Democrats in the Chamber and the visitors in the Gallery. (Although unfortunately you cannot see it in the video because the House Camera cuts to the Speaker as I finish, you can certainly hear it!) As noted in The Washington Postmany Republicans clapped too. I think I touched a nerve: the video of the speech has thus far organically reached more than 50,000 on Facebook and has been viewed by more than 16,000. Thank you to my fellow Delegates, the many visitors, and the several people from the Governor's Office who came up to me all this week to endorse the remarks and stand up for refugees.