Nov. 1, 2018 – This afternoon President Trump unveiled a series of harsh measures regarding those seeking asylum. The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
There he goes again. Trump and the Republican Party are so desperate to change the subject from the heinous murder of eleven American Jews in their place of worship and the GOP’s terrible record on healthcare and taxes, the President is calling a group of Central Americans fleeing violence and seeking safety a threat to national security.
It seems he wants the strongest nation on earth, a nation once known as the City on the Hill, to cower in fear. Ironically, the people walking towards our country still believe in the promise of America.
At a moment when we need a leader to bring us together to mourn and heal, we have a president who is ripping us apart to score political points. He is trying to incite racial panic just days after a mass murderer acted out of racial panic.
There will be time to address the specifics of the policy proposals announced, but let’s be real. This isn’t about policy, it’s a cynical attempt to stoke fear, blow smoke and hang onto power. A serious president would be bringing us together in this time when right-wing political violence is a real threat. A responsible political party would be demanding that the president unite us rather than divide us. But we don’t have a serious president or a responsible Republican Party. We have a divider-in-chief; a hater-in-chief; yes, a racist-in-chief. And we have a group of cowards in his political party who instead of checking his worst impulses, enable them.
With respect to the challenge of Central American migration, a serious policy would combine the following elements: a determined effort to reduce the violence and destitution that causes Central Americans to flee their homelands; a diplomatic effort to work with allies in the region to organize a coordinated approach to refugee protection and resettlement; and a properly-resourced asylum policy that puts those with credible claims to asylum into case management programs that ensure applicants comply with court hearings and orders. Indefinite detention and the separation of children from their parents is neither moral nor necessary.
But Trump doesn’t want to solve the problem, he wants to exploit it. The only way to stop this awful president and his cowardly enablers is to vote them out of office. Let’s hope the majority that want to do so can have their will expressed next Tuesday.