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With President Trump’s Twitter feed once more consumed with anti-immigrant fear-mongering, the following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Just in time for the homestretch of the 2018 midterm cycle, Trump’s blustering about Central Americans who are fleeing violence and instability to seek family, safety and opportunity in America remains true to form: cruel, ineffective and cynical.
For nearly four decades, people have been leaving the northern triangle of Central America due to war, human rights violations, weak governance, insecurity, poverty and violence. It is a complex challenge that requires an intelligent analysis and a multi-faceted, multi-lateral response. As is painfully obvious, President Trump is uninterested and dismissive of issue complexity, intelligent analyses, sophisticated responses and respectful multilateralism.
A smart response to this challenge would include the following elements: 1) a sustained effort to alleviate root causes, including significant investments of American influence and capital in the sending countries to improve security, human rights, respect for the rule of law, governance and economic opportunity; 2) a regional approach to refugee protection that would restore elements opposed by this administration, such as in-country refugee processing programs, improved access to safe haven and asylum in neighboring countries, and resettlement processing resulting in the orderly admission of refugees into the U.S. and other nations; and 3) for those who seek asylum on our territory, something that is perfectly legal, a fair asylum process combined with case management practices would integrate respect for rights and concern for the integrity of the process.
Instead, we have a President who is raging, demanding and, most of all, tweeting. It’s a searing indictment of his presidency that he’s tougher on vulnerable brown people that seek safety than autocratic regimes that kill their opponents — even if that opponent is an American resident who worked as a journalist for the Washington Post.
Trump’s strategy is clear: stoke fear of immigrants, demand official cruelty, and cynically exploit divisions to score political points.
His administration is planning to restart the evil practice of ripping kids from their parents. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bullying immigration judges and rewriting asylum law to close the doors. Stephen Miller and his acolytes sprinkled throughout the administration are scheming to gut our asylum system and detain kids and families indefinitely. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is sent out to spread lies to cover their tracks.
Meanwhile, the President rails against immigrants in his rallies. Super PACs aligned with Trump, McConnell and Ryan run attack ads featuring lies and distortions mouthed by scared white women interspersed with images of tattooed brown people. And then there are those tweets. Here’s one from this morning:
I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S…..
Here’s another from yesterday:
Republicans must make the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws, and the Border, a part of the Midterms!
Left unsaid by our President is that his party, the Republicans, have controlled Congress for the past two years, have utterly failed to enact legislation they say is needed. Instead, they blame Democrats. Curious.
As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent concluded in a must-read post, entitled, “Trump: I can’t fix the immigration problem, so Republicans should demagogue it instead”:
…it bears repeating that the bigger package of ‘tough’ measures Trump favors to ‘solve’ the larger immigration problem — a border wall, deep cuts to legal immigration — got the fewest of any votes in the Senate, meaning his solutions don’t have enough Republican support to pass Congress. Trump doesn’t know what to do about that, either, except threaten government shutdowns that aren’t going to happen.
But one thing Trump does know is that Republicans should demagogue the issue.