The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, in response to President Trump’s latest immigration proclamation suspending an array of work visas and his visit to his border wall in Yuma, Arizona:
America is reeling and awakening. A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has taken the lives of more than 120,000 Americans; the economy has collapsed; and millions are in the streets demanding fundamental changes in public safety and a reckoning with four centuries of racial injustice. The nation cries out for strong leadership, unity across racial difference and dramatic progress on multiple fronts.
Enter Donald Trump. No longer interested in the pandemic, he complains that more testing makes him look bad and holds a Tulsa rally to spread the coronavirus and racism. With workers, small business owners and state and local governments desperate for relief, Trump and the GOP dither and delay while hiding who gets the money they control. In response to police murders and a nation demanding justice, Trump deploys Field Marshall Barr to clear Lafayette Square for a photo op and calls protestors thugs and rioters.
This is the context for Trump’s decision to slash work visas yesterday and visit his border wall in Arizona today. Trump is doing what he always does — dividing us along racial and ethnic lines in a desperate attempt to cling to power. So we get yet another unilateral and far-reaching policy change designed to keep out immigrants and another taxpayer-funded election stop to tout the ineffective and costly border wall.
Once again, Trump turns to racism and xenophobia. But his cynical and cartoonish maneuvers are shows of weakness, not strength. It’s a one-note presidency that reeks of failure and desperation. He believes that dividing America improves his chances of winning reelection. In fact, with respect to racism and xenophobia, he has forced Americans to choose sides. We have, and he’s on the wrong side of history.
- Read the America’s Voice take on how Trump’s border wall obsession embodies Trump’s presidency: narcissistic, ineffective, corrupt, offensive and unpopular
- Read America’s Voice new report, For Trump and the GOP, Xenophobia as a Political Strategy Has Backfired on the reliance on the dehumanization of immigrants failed in contested races across the country from 2017-19