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Cleveland, OH – At a speech last night in Youngstown, OH, President Donald Trump offered a disturbing and apocalyptic vision of immigrants in America, saying that they “prey on innocent young people” and describing how: “[these] animals … don’t want to use guns because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer, folks. That is why the administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities. American cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, for people that look up to the law, for people that respect the law, not the criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country.”
The following is a statement from Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice and Deputy Director of America’s Voice, in reaction to the speech:
If Trump’s immigration policy was focused on bad guys, there wouldn’t be an issue. But he’s lying. His agents are focused on the easiest targets, people likeJesus Lara, who follow the rules and show up for their appointments with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
After five years of having his papers renewed in annual meetings, this year Jesus walked into his appointment with ICE and was given an ankle monitor and a deportation date. Jesus has no criminal record, is the father of four US citizen children, lived in Willard, Ohio for nearly two decades, had a legal work permit, and is a kind and responsible person. Yet he was deported last week under the Trump Administration’s mass deportation policy. Jesus’ deportation is the perfect example of the people being targeted under Trump’s regime. Just look at the stats, noncriminal immigrant deportations are up 150%.
Jesus’ children and all the other children of immigrants in America are hearing Trump’s words with horror. This is what the President of the United States thinks of their father. This is how he wants our nation to view immigrants – as machete-wielding murderers out to kill American babies. This rhetoric is dangerous and destructive, to society as well as the psyches of children who fear for their parents’ deportation.
Rep. Bob Gibbs said that he supports the Trump policy, and applauded Jesus’ deportation. Does he agree with Trump’s fear-mongering on display in Youngstown?
What about Senator Rob Portman? Governor Kasich? Attorney General DeWine? The rest of the Ohio Republican delegation? Are they going to stand by and watch as the President becomes even further unhinged and malignant? Or are they going to stand up for American values and immigrants who are here contributing to this state? Leadership is needed, and so far we’re waiting.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, added:
This is not normal. In fact, it is way beyond not normal. The President of the United States of America, a country long-defined by its ability to attract and benefit from people arriving from all four corners of the globe, is dehumanizing and demonizing immigrants as the dangerous ‘other.’ Instead of ‘out of many, one,’ President Trump is seeking to convince this pluralistic nation that it’s ‘us vs them,’ all in order to justify an unprecedented crackdown that is targeting mothers and fathers who are working towards a better life for their families.
The Trump Administration has brought Willie Horton-style politics to the presidency and to advance a policy agenda that was, until recently, restricted to the wish lists of white nationalists.