FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2018
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279
Trump’s Racism Rears Its Ugly Head as Bipartisan Senate Group Proposes Principles of a DACA Deal
WASHINGTON — News media reported today that President Trump used racist comments aimed at people from African and Caribbean countries during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss a bipartisan proposal on immigration.
The reports came after a bipartisan group of senators announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on an immigration proposal that would include the Dream Act, along with border enforcement and other changes to the immigration system.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both chambers of Congress met with President Trump earlier this week to discuss a way toward a solution. At the meeting, everyone in the room seemed to agree on the urgency to pass a permanent legislative solution for immigrant youth, without getting bogged down in a broad conversation about immigration.
Trump created a crisis when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:
“President Trump’s repugnant statement today should remove any shred of doubt that his motivations behind DACA negotiations are blatantly racist. This is not a president who respects the dignity of people of color, and as Americans we must do everything in our power to resist this administration’s white supremacist agenda. Presidents are elected to represent all residents of this great country, and these painful comments stain the presidency. This is a disgraceful moment, one in which we must all stand up and say that the president does not speak for us.
“Words matter, especially when they are spoken by policymakers at the helm of our government. His words can embolden others to engage in hate crimes and hate speech. Those who have stood in lockstep with President Trump through these negotiations have a choice. It’s not enough to reject these repugnant remarks while advancing this administration’s agenda. Republicans, in particular, have an opportunity to denounce Trump’s comments and this administration’s white nationalist agenda. Racism has no place in our society, and all eyes are now on Congress to show which side of history they choose to be on.
Jonathan Jayes-Green, cofounder and director of UndocuBlack a national network of Black undocumented people, said:
“Haiti and the African countries Trump calls ‘shithole’ countries possess more dignity and strength than he will ever be able to comprehend in his lifetime. His comments today reflect his deeply rotten and racist soul and his intent to carry out a white supremacist agenda to make America white again. In case it wasn’t clear, this is what racism looks like, and we as Black immigrants know it all too well. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Trump blatantly disregards people of African descent. Congress, you have a choice to make: Either side with this racist agenda or protect immigrant communities now.”