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As the Nation Prepares to Celebrate the Best of Who We Are, Trump and the GOP Prepare to Denigrate Our Tradition of Welcome

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With Demagoguery, Distortions and Wedge Politics, Republicans Embrace Nativism and Trash a Defining Feature of American Identity

Today the House of Representatives will vote on two anti-immigrant bills aimed at throwing red meat to the GOP base and attempting to help President Trump change the subject after his stunning healthcare setback. The bills do nothing to improve or overhaul our outdated immigration system, but rather are designed to aid and abet Trump’s radical agenda to kick out and keep out as many immigrants and refugees as possible. The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Welcoming immigrants and refugees is a defining feature of who we are as Americans. We are a stronger and more prosperous nation because of it. As we gear up to celebrate our nation’s freedoms and opportunities this 4th of July weekend, let us remember that a leading part in our national story is played by people who come to America to build better lives for their families and a stronger country for us all. Immigrants start companies, serve in our military, put food on our table, build homes and skyscrapers, advance our technology, and enrich our arts and culture. Far from being poor, huddled masses, immigrants and refugees are strong, resilient people who vote with their feet.

In stark contrast, Donald Trump’s radicalism on immigration is an assault on this core aspect of American identity. He views immigrants as criminals, threats and ‘the other.’ His Administration’s crackdown is cruel, chaotic and costly. It will make America less safe, less prosperous, and, well, less American. Trump’s policy goals – deporting millions, banning refugees and Muslims, building walls and closing gates – will, if fully implemented, take a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. Trump believes in a xenophobic ultra-nationalism that pits Us vs. Them in a zero sum game. But that’s not who we are at our best. We are a nation that believes in E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Our strength as a nation comes from bringing Us and Them together as a dynamic, diverse and united Us. This is what moves us forward – together.

With President Trump engaging in the worst kind of demagoguery, with Speaker Ryan enabling and encouraging him in ways unimaginable just a few years ago, and with some Democrats on the verge of caving in to the ugly politics of racially-charged wedge issues, it is hard to remain optimistic. But we remain so because we believe a combination of people power, public support and patriotism will defend the American idea and advance the American experiment. America is a nation founded on the idea that all men and women are created equal; that all people deserve to be treated with dignity, fairness and respect, regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak or the God they pray to.

We believe that by rising up together we will survive the Trump era and the GOP’s backlash to fully realize the promise of an America where character, contribution, equal opportunity and shared values matter more than color, creed, birthplace and background. We encourage all Americans of good will to join us.