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As Trump’s Hateful Rhetoric Gains Steam, Event in Iowa Offers Fresh Reminder of Need for Civil Discussion on Immigration Reform in America

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#UniteIowa to Bring to Together Presidential Contenders, Local Leaders and Impacted Individuals from all Sides of the Political Spectrum for Thoughtful Discussion on Immigration

As we noted last week, Donald Trump’s xenophobic positions on immigration have passed the point of hateful rhetoric and moved into inciting hateful actions.

Following a hate crime against a Hispanic man committed in Donald Trump’s name last week, the voices of the right-wing have doubled-down on their racist Trump-speak.  Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson told his audience that undocumented immigrants should be “enslaved” if they don’t leave the country within a certain amount of time.  And as one Trump supporter shared with the New York Times: “Hopefully, [Trump’s] going to sit there and say, ‘When I become elected president, what we’re going to do is we’re going to make the border a vacation spot, it’s going to cost you $25 for a permit, and then you get $50 for every confirmed kill.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) criticized these developments, saying, “To say this is about passion and love of nation is to try to camouflage what is a very base appeal to the worst instincts and racial division that he is fomenting in this country…It has nothing to do with patriotism.  Patriotism is shared. It doesn’t belong to any race, creed, color in this country.”

“It seems that Trump’s outrageous slurs against immigrants are giving other people license to say and do the most extreme things possible.  This is a dangerous development for civil society, and we simply cannot allow this to happen,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.

Indeed, not all political types and candidates have succumbed to the Trump Effect.  This Saturday, August 29th, presidential candidates will join alongside Iowa leaders from across the political spectrum for a much-needed civil, non-partisan dialogue on immigration in America.  The event is a part of Des Moines Register columnist Kyle Munson’s #UniteIowa campaign designed to find constructive, common ground on a host of pressing issues.

Munson has a new column out today, explaining why #UniteIowa on Immigration comes at such a critical moment in the presidential race, and it’s a must-read.

The column is entitled, “A forum to unite, not radicalize immigration debate,” and it’s available online.

“Trump’s caustic effect on political discourse is seeping into the broader society, but there are leaders offering responsible alternatives and the #UniteIowa forum is an example of that.  The American people support solutions, including comprehensive immigration reform.  We will not let Donald Trump and his ideological allies deny immigrants their place in America or undermine the values that make this country so great,” said Tramonte.