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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, in response to tonight’s announcement that the Trump administration will issue new “public charge” rules:
This has Stephen Miller’s fingerprints all over it. He and his cabal of hardliners are determined to keep out and kick out as many immigrants and refugees as possible. This time, the idea is to reduce legal immigration by punishing hard working, low-income immigrants for occasionally accessing government programs, so their families have access to food, medicine and shelter.
This strategy is not only cruel, it’s purposeful. Miller and the Trump White House believe pitting people of color against their supporters will improve GOP prospects in the 2018 midterms. The Trump team – including super PACs aligned with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan – want to say that Democrats stand with immigrants, and Republicans stand with taxpayers. It’s more accurate to say that most Americans stand for decency and unity, while the GOP stands for divisiveness and cruelty.
This is about more than ‘mobilizing their base.’ It’s about generating enough white noise to drown out discussion of a GOP track record that consists of lining the pockets of donors while raising the cost of healthcare, defunding education, and threatening Social Security and Medicare. With real wages flat and most people unhappy with the direction of the country, the Republicans can’t win an election focused on kitchen table issues. And so, they point fingers, stoke divisions and blow smoke.
We need leaders who bring us together to make life better for each and every one of us – white, black, brown and beyond. We need to join together with people regardless of background and birthplace to fight for our future – just like we won better wages, safer workplaces, and civil rights in our past. We need leaders who work for all of us, not just the wealthy few.
Come November, the voters will have their say. We are optimistic that the majority will reject the divide and distract strategy of Trump, Miller and the GOP and put in office problem solvers who want us to bridge racial difference to move our country forward.