WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 — In President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress this evening, he sketched out his policy agenda for the coming year. Included in his list of policy priorities was mention of a need to come to some sort of compromise on immigration. This policy proposal comes mere weeks after the Trump administration released several executive orders that created chaos at airports and spread fear among immigrant communities. Below is a statement from Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director for the National Immigration Law Center:
Actions speak louder than words. Trump has spent nearly two years bashing immigrants and Muslims, using this xenophobic, racist rhetoric to gain votes. His actions since taking office have followed the same path of criminalization, disenfranchisement, and deportation for people of color. If Trump is truly serious about coming to some sort of compromise on immigration, he should start by rescinding the executive orders that make it easier to criminalize and deport the very people he purports to defend.
Our communities have been subject to unconstitutional bans, appalling treatment at the hands of immigration enforcement, and a surge in hate crimes. We will continue to use every legal and advocacy tool necessary to fight for our communities. Stray sentences in prepared remarks are of little comfort to the children of those already deported under the Trump administration.