Signing the DREAM Act into law in Virginia is a high priority, McAuliffe said, adding that Virginia's economy would grow faster if Virginia was a more welcoming state.
"We can't grow our economy unless we insure that Virginia is an open and welcoming state for everyone," he said. "We cannot be attacking women's health centers. We cannot be attacking gay Virginians. And we cannot be attacking immigrants who have come to this country and are working hard."
Virginia Delegate Alfonso Lopez was also present, and argued that McAuliffe was the best candidate to represent Latino interests.
"Latino issues are not just Latino issues. They're American issues. Issues that everyone cares about: transportation, small business, jobs, the economy, as well as immigration, and always, education," Delegate Lopez said.
McAuliffe said store owner Castro was the embodiment of the American dream. Castro came from an impoverished background in San Salvador and immigrated to the U.S. in his early 20s, and now owns two grocery stores that employ a total of 150 employees.
But without Route 1 widening, McAuliffe thinks Castro's business will face challenges.
"Route 1 out here: it's gridlock," he said. "He can't grow if it takes folks all day to come to his store and do the shopping."
McAuliffe argued that sequestration would likely be extended another year, and the commonwealth would really feel the pinch next year.
"This year, I think a lot of people prepared for sequestration. They cut a little low-hanging fruit," he said. "Next year will have a dramatic impact on our economy. We'll have to cut limbs off of trees. The next governor has to focus on how do we grow, how do we diversify, how do we become leaders in these new 21st century jobs?"