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Trump’s Emphasis on Crime Tars All Latinos & Immigrants, Putting U.S. Communities at Risk

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A Joint Statement By Latino Leaders

Washington D.C. – Following last night’s presidential debate, Latino leaders issued the following statement:

“Everyone wants and deserves to feel safe in their homes, neighborhoods, and communities.  Violent crime is a tragedy regardless of the victim, and our hearts are with the victims and their families. Any perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That said, using the heinous acts of an individual to tar entire communities of immigrants and people of color is as old as American politics itself. It is a cynical effort to exploit tragedy to invoke fear and sow division, and it is irresponsible and endangers American lives.

Dehumanizing rhetoric that falsely depicts immigrants as inherent threats creates a climate for more political violence while offering nothing to address real safety concerns facing working families and American communities. Animated by anti-immigrant fears, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories, we have seen the consequences of people taking violent action, leaving a trail of tragedy: 11 dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; 23 dead at a Walmart in El Paso; 10 dead at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, not to mention those killed in Charlottesville, the U.S. Capitol and in other incidents of politically motivated hate violence.  

The facts are that since the last president left office, violent crime is down substantially across the country and that immigrants are associated with reductions in crime in American communities coast to coast. Indeed, we would be making much more progress towards further reducing crime, making guns less widely available, and reforming our immigration system if politicians from both parties were working together rather than having one party constantly trying to divide us, making solutions more difficult to achieve. 

As we know from scripture, those in glass houses should not throw stones, so a person convicted of 34 felonies pointing the finger at the alleged and misleading criminality of others is one of the ironies of this election year.”

Endorsed by the following organizations: 

Dr. Hector P. Garcia, American GI Forum of the United States 

Vanessa Cardenas, America’s Voice

Marcos Vilar, Alianza for Progress

Angelica Salas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Ana Garcia-Ashley, Gamaliel Network

Andrea Mercado, Florida Rising 

Sindy M. Benavides, Latino Victory

Lourdes M. Rosado, LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Lucy Florez, Luz Media

Hector Sanchez Barba, Mi Familia Vota

Amy Hinojosa, MANA, A National Latina Organization

Yanira Cruz, National Hispanic Council on Aging

Felix Sanchez, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts 

John Villamil-Casanova, The ASPIRA Association, Inc

Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino