BY STATE SENATOR JAMES SANDERS
I am deeply disturbed and offended by the callous and racist remarks made by President Trump, after rejecting a bi-partisan proposal to protect immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa, which he allegedly called “s**thole” countries. Instead, Trump said we should be welcoming more immigrants from countries like Norway, which is predominantly Caucasian.
The United States is a nation of immigrants and a melting pot of cultures and that means accepting people from everywhere including nations inhabited by people of color. President Trump’s ignorant statement further solidifies the anti-immigrant agenda that he has constantly pushed forward through actions like the Muslim Ban, the proposed Mexican wall, and the ending of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, Salvadorians and Nicaraguans, as well as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
President Trump doesn’t want to make America great. He wants to make America white. President Trumps wants to select who populates this country by sealing out those who he believes are undesirable. Those undesirables, however, are the people who work hard to achieve the American Dream and that is something that benefits all of us.
I demand that President Trump issue an apology for his remarks, lead a humanitarian effort to help improve the conditions in the so-called “s**thole” countries, extend TPS for immigrants from those countries and create an effective pathway to citizenship for them.
I have written a letter to President Trump expressing my concerns. It was supported and co-signed by my colleagues in government – Senator Leroy Comrie and Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman.
I believe that all Americans of good faith will join us in a show of unity and strength to remind President Trump that he cannot continue to embarrass our country through foolish deeds and actions. The United States is often held up as an example for the rest of the globe and we should behave accordingly.
Although Trump has denied making the “s**thole comment, instead claiming that he used strong language during the meeting in question. However let’s not forget that this is the same man who allegedly said that people from Haiti “all have AIDS,” that new Nigerian immigrants arriving in this country would never ‘go back to their huts,” in Africa, and that Afghanistan is a haven for terrorists.
Queens is the most diverse borough in the world and many of our residents come from so-called “s**thole” countries. President Trump is setting a terrible example for these people, people who have settled here in hopes of a better life. He is telling them that they are not respected, not worthy of this new place they call home, that people who come from humble beginnings can never move past the stigma of poverty. We must show them the real America, Trump’s warped vision does irreversible damage.