As Donald Trump touches down in Youngstown to make a “major” speech on foreign policy and combating terrorism, Ohio immigrants, immigration lawyers, and advocates are available to provide their reaction.
The Associated Press is reporting that Trump “will call for a new ideological test for admission to the United States, vetting applicants on their stance on issues like religious freedom, gender equality, and gay rights.” Contact Ohio’s Voice at the number above to get in touch with these and other Ohioans who are following the speech.
According to Julie Nemecek, immigration lawyer in Columbus: “The proposal to only admit immigrants that fit Trump’s definition of the ‘ideal American’ is against fundamental American beliefs of diversity, progress, and democracy, which are achieved through the freedom to hold your own views.”
Armando Labra, UAW member in Youngstown, said: “The Republican Party has nominated a horrific presidential contender. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to vote Republican.”
Veralucia Mendoza-Reno, an immigrant and organizer from Toledo, said: “Trump is not only misinformed, he is misguiding his supporters by constantly repeating lies. He says everything with confidence, including made-up statistics, or claiming Obama is the founder of ISIS — and when he’s proven wrong, he claims to only be joking. He is a dangerous man who is legitimizing a level of overt racism we haven’t seen in years, and I’m afraid that there are children listening to this hateful rhetoric and are internalizing it. Ohio has no room for someone so out of line with our values. Ohio has no room for his hate speech, or narcissistic attitude.”
Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, said: “First Trump wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the US, a clear attack on religious freedom and the values our country was founded on. Then he wanted to ban immigrants from countries touched by terrorism, which includes nearly every country that I can think of. Now he wants to impose a so-called ‘ideological test’ on immigrants — one that Trump himself could not even pass. He may be trying on different positions like Brooks Brothers suits, but his underlying animus is still the same: immigrants are a threat to America, and we need to keep them out in order to keep our country safe. Someone with such a primitive, offensive worldview is not fit to run any country, much less the United States of America. Our nation was founded by immigrants seeking religious freedom. It would be affront to our democracy to elect someone who stands so starkly against the values we were founded to protect.”