A video recording of today’s event is available here.
Washington, DC – As rumors swirl that President Donald Trump may undo several immigration policies created by the Obama Administration this week, Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV); Greisa Martinez of United We Dream; Rev. Jennifer Butler of Faith in Public Life; Angela Maria Kelley of Center for American Progress Action Fund; Juan Escalante, a DACA beneficiary with America’s Voice; and Omar Al-Muqdad, a Syrian refugee and journalist gathered to analyze the consequences of Trump’s potential actions.
Earlier this month, through marches, vigils, rallies, and gatherings,immigrants and allies in over 70 cities showed Trump, Republicans in Congress, and the rest of the country that they are here to stay. Regardless of rumors, trial balloons, threats, and mass deportation plans, the immigrant and refugee communities and their allies will continue to work for an America that is inclusive and welcoming to all.
A recording of today’s event is available here.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said, “As we await news from the Trump administration regarding immigration policy, I am here today to stand shoulder to shoulder with the immigrant community and tell you that Senate Democrats will fight tooth and nail against any and all anti-immigrant measures that President Trump and Republicans put forth. The place where you were born and the circumstances under which you came to the United States don’t make you any more or less American. I’ve announced my opposition to Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, in large part because of his deeply concerning views on immigration, and I am strongly supporting the bipartisan BRIDGE Act. Senate Democrats will be vigilant and strong in our commitment to upholding the promise of America and shielding immigrants from President Trump’s policies. The Trump Administration is on notice. We will not waiver and we will not tire.”
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), said, “Every family has a story of why they came to the United States and what this country means to them. The DACA program has had such a positive impact for thousands of young people in Nevada, and I have had the honor of meeting with so many inspiring and courageous DACA recipients. They have so much to offer, but now they fear that President Donald Trump will separate them from their families and send them to a country that they do not call home. If President Trump rescinds DACA, his heartless actions will tear families apart, harm our communities and devastate our economy.”
Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life, said, “We are here today to bear witness to the persecution of immigrant families, workers and students, and we are here to call out sin by the occupant of the Oval Office. God has told us to welcome the migrant. There is no provision for building a wall that declares immigrants not welcome. As a pastor, I want to remind our elected officials that welcoming immigrants and refugees who come to America to make a better life for their families is a defining feature of America’s past, present and future, fundamental to the American identity.”
Juan Escalante, Digital Campaigns Manager, America’s Voice and DACA recipient, said, “By creating uncertainty about their futures, Donald Trump’s White House is harming to DREAMers who are currently working at their jobs, studying in schools across the nation, and carrying out their responsibilities like the bright young Americans that they are. The answer is clear, the DACA program works and should not be repealed without a legislative solution that allows DREAMers to contribute to our great nation. For me personally, it has been a day filled with emotion, anxiety, and fear – which I’m sure a lot of DREAMers across the country also experienced. This is unacceptable, and quite frankly un-American. People should not be forced to live in fear every day of their lives.”
Angela Maria Kelley, Executive Director, Center for American Progress Action Fund, said, “America is a welcoming country – it would be a tragedy to close its doors to its rich history and undermine the values that have strengthened the country. Trump and his administration should not ignore the strong support for sensible immigration reform and the contributions of immigrant families.”
Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director, United We Dream Network and DACA beneficiary, said, “This week, Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders attacking immigrants: beginning to make his threat of mass deportation real and bringing his Muslim registry nightmare closer to reality. We are asking all Members of Congress — both Republicans and Democrats — Governors, Mayors and leaders who support immigrant communities to call on the new President to leave DACA alone and to protect immigrants and immigrant youth from the mass deportation agenda. And we are calling on all people of conscience to join together and resist. We are #HereToStay and organized to win.”
Omar Al-muqdad, Syrian journalist and refugee who was imprisoned after speaking critically against the Assad regime, said “Conflicts in the world have created an unprecedented refugee crisis, and the most public face of this crisis has been the devastating war in Syria. We cannot turn our backs on refugees in need of protection or abandon them at their most desperate times. . . . America should continue its proud legacy and tradition of being the brightest beacon of freedom and the safe haven for all who are seeking this great land.”
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice
America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform