WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 11, 2018) — The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus along with several APIA national organizations responded Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s comments regarding immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries.
According to a Washington Post article Thursday, Trump was in a meeting regarding immigration when the topic of including including immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries under protected classes as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. According to the Post, Trump said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
CAPAC Chair and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), said she was appalled by Trump’s “blatantly racist comments” while at the same time saying that the United States should accept more immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
“These demeaning views regarding the Diversity Visa Program — coupled with Trump’s incessant attacks on our family-based immigration system and failure to protect our nation’s Dreamers — have made it clear that this president truly believes the only good immigrants are white immigrants,” Chu said.
The future of national immigration policy should not be dictated by Trump’s personal prejudice and intolerance, Chu said. America has always drawn strength from its diversity and the nation is enriched by the contributions of immigrants from all over the globe, she said.
“It is shameful that this sort of hatred and bigotry was injected into bipartisan negotiations to protect Dreamers,” Chu said. “The President’s dangerous and divisive remarks are reprehensible, and must be strongly condemned by all members of Congress.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago, said the remarks came just after a group of bipartisan senators had struck an deal on immigration and Sen’s Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham met with the administration to discuss the agreement.
In an AAAJ statement, the organization said members were “deeply disturbed” that the President of the United States could make racist and white supremacist comments regarding immigrants.
“Our nation’s strength is rooted in its global diversity and our nation’s leaders should celebrate – and not demonize – immigrants. While we condemn the President’s racism, we also call on our Congressional members to not fall for this latest distraction,” AAAJ stated. “Congress must focus on passing a clean Dream Act that does not come at the expense of our long-standing family-based immigration system and diversity visa program.”
A statement from the Baltimore based NAACP “unequivocally denounced” Trump’s comments, adding that as the nation struggles to move forward, “the President falls deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia.”
“The United States’ position as a moral leader throughout the world has been thoroughly damaged by the continuous lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism repeatedly espoused by President Trump,” the NAACP statement said. “His decision to use profanity to describe African, Central American and Caribbean countries is not only a low mark for this President, it is a low point for our nation. This President’s failure to grasp simple ideas of inclusion and maturity is an open sore on our democracy that continues to fester. It is clear that the President wants to return America to its ugly past of white supremacy where immigration laws as well as all laws of society only favored individuals from European nations and European ancestry. In fact, the President himself benefitted from those racially biased laws when his ancestors immigrated to this nation. Yet today, he wants to force the American public to pay billions to build a wall to block off our southern neighbors in exchange for the return of protections for DACA that were already guaranteed to immigrants before he came to office. As we head into 49th NAACP Image Awards being held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Holiday for the first time to honor his legacy, we realize that the Bull Connor of our day is none other than the President of our nation. As King fought then, we fight today against those seeking to implement slicker and newer forms of racial segregation.”