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Amidst Trump’s “Immigration Week,” Leading Immigration Reform Advocates Discuss State of the Race

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Following part one of Trump’s immigration focused town halland amidst Trump’s “immigration week,” leaders in the immigration reform movement gathered to analyze the current state of the 2016 race and the immigrant community’s priorities for these elections.

A recording of today’s call is available here.

César J. Blanco, Interim Director, Latino Victory Fund, said “As far as we’re concerned, Trump gave his immigration speech a long time ago: promising to tear apart families with an imaginary and implausible deportation force, vowing to build a wall that Mexico would pay for, and even insulting and questioning Judge Curiel’s ability to do his job because of his Mexican heritage. And, we believe him when he says that he is who he is, and that he doesn’t want to change or pivot. We won’t be fooled by his thinly veiled and convenient attempt to deceive our community. It’s time Trump show his face and answer for the year of racist rhetoric and bigotry that he has put us through.”

Maria Elena Durazo, General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity, Unite HERE, said “When politicians and employers attack immigrant workers, all workers get less. Immigrant workers are the backbone of our nation’s workforce and at the leadership of our movements for higher wages and better working conditions for all workers — the interests of immigrants and workers cannot be divided, and a separated and segregated American workforce will not stand. That’s why we must continue to inspire all Americans to vote against Trump and not let his racist rhetoric divide workers and immigrants. At the end of the day, immigrants and workers are one in the same.”

Cristina Jimenez, Co-Founder and Managing Director, United We Dream Action, said “For me and for all of us at United We Dream Action, this fight is personal. Trump has built his entire campaign on racism and xenophobia against us and has promised to do harm to my family and millions of others. Immigrant youth do not believe his phony pivot, we will work to defeat him and we will expose and shame those who try to cover up the agenda of this dangerous man.”

Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, Center for Community Change Action, said “Trump’s extraordinary bombast throughout the campaign and the GOP’s failure to stop all the hateful attacks on immigrant and working families, those struggling to make ends meet and people of color, is inspiring immigrant voters, Latinos, African-Americans and justice loving allies to get more politically active. While the GOP continues to support Trump, we are going to be organizing to build an America where everyone can thrive.  We’ll be registering people to vote, talking to voters on doors and by phone in 20 states ­­­­- reaching one million voters. Our effort will drive record turn-out from our communities, advance the national climate for comprehensive immigration reform in 2017, and define candidates and provide a clear choice for immigrant voters.”

Rocio Saenz, International Executive Vice President, SEIU, said “After spending more than a year demonizing and dehumanizing immigrant communities, Donald Trump wants to have a conversation about ‘fair and humane’ immigration policies. This is a desperate move seeking to pander to immigrant voters, but we won’t be fooled by his fake pivot. Our community knows the stakes of this election  — building a wall vs. building bridges; tearing families apart vs. keeping families together — which is why SEIU and iAmerica are already in the field reaching out to Latinos and  immigrant voters in key battleground states. Now is the time to push back against Trump’s hate speech and build the momentum needed to enact comprehensive immigration reform next year. His rhetoric is a direct attack on our immigrant families, and we won’t stand for hate. Immigrants are everywhere, and we will be heard this election.”

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director, America’s Voice, “It’s important to remember that Donald Trump has been a candidate for well over a year, and his anti-immigrant policies are well-established.  In fact, he’s poisoned our airwaves, telling his followers it’s OK to be bigoted and racist.  We’re tracking Trump-related hate crimes and bigotry on the website TrumpHateMap.com.  Take a look and see what hate he has unleashed, which we’ll have to deal with long after Trump loses in November.”

 A recording of today’s call is available here.