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Frank Sharry: President Trump Should Cancel Tuesday Night’s Immigration Speech

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“He’s Throwing a Match on the Kindling. Once Again.”

The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

At a time when our nation is being ripped apart and threatened by hate-inspired domestic terrorism, the President of the United States should be bringing our nation together, not deliberately sowing division and discontent. Making an incendiary immigration speech in this explosive environment is not only cynical, it’s dangerous.

But that is exactly what he aims to do. Let’s be clear: this speech isn’t really about immigration policy towards a ragtag caravan of people seeking a better life. No, this speech is about something much bigger and more threatening. If he goes forward on Tuesday, it won’t just be about about a deeply cynical ploy to stoke fears and win an election; it’s about flirting with danger and provoking violence for the sake of the Republican Party’s political fortunes.

That is why we are calling on the President to not deliver this speech. We are calling on all Republican leaders to call on him to step back from the brink. We are calling on Democrats to call on him to step back from the brink. We are calling on responsible media to cover whatever happens within the context of this divisive president and this combustible moment.

Do we need more carnage to prove the point? The most vicious and lethal anti-Semitic hate crime in American history was carried out this weekend. The perpetrator trafficked in the conspiracy theories, encouraged by President Trump and many Republicans, that Democrats, George Soros, and even organizations such as HIAS were plotting to harm our nation. As incredible as it sounds, we have the President and his DHS Secretary declaring that a small group of refugees fleeing violence and instability in Central America represent an existential threat to the strongest nation on earth.

Our country is hurting. Eleven people are dead. Political and philanthropic leaders are being targeted for assassination. African American shoppers are being mowed down in parking lots. At this time of grief and terror, we need national leaders to unite us, to memorialize the victims, and to tamp down on racial polarization and hate speech. Instead, President Trump is throwing a match on the kindling. Once again.

At a moment like this, no other American president in history would do anything like making a speech designed to point fingers, stoke fear and inflame passions. If he goes through with it, we shouldn’t be surprised if unstable followers interpret it as a call to arms. It’s not too late. Leaders who care more about healing our nation than scoring political points should speak up.

Mr. President, cancel the speech.