Latino Caucus Press Conference – Crisis at the Border: Trump’s War on Immigrants Persists
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus were joined in unity by leaders of the Legislative Women’s, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Jewish and LGBT Caucuses in denouncing Trump Administration maneuvers on immigration policies that rip families apart at the border.
Latino Caucus Chair Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) said, “As a Caucus we continue to be troubled, but sadly not surprised, by the Trump Administration’s vicious and cynical efforts to leverage the lives of immigrant children in an effort to push his un-American agenda.”
“The President is going to seek praise and credit for signing an Executive Order ending a family separation policy he himself instituted,” Sen. Hueso added. “This is like the arsonist seeking praise for putting out the building fire he started AFTER the building has burned to the ground. I urge all of you and the public out there to not get distracted by the President's latest action. We still need to hear how those families are going to be reunited and, let’s be honest, a child moved from a cage with other children to a cage with their parents is still a child in a cage.”
Sen. Hueso expressed concern that the problem now is the children can be held in those cages with their parents indefinitely during the asylum process. He quoted Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, who told the Sacramento Bee, “The idea that the way to end family separation is to indefinitely jail kids with their parents in family gulags at the border is as morally reprehensible as separating kids from their parents.”
Assemblymember Rob Bonta, (D-Alameda) Chair, Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus "Trump created a humanitarian crisis with the 'zero-tolerance' policy that ripped families apart. The recent executive order does nothing to reunite families already separated and continues to incarcerate families seeking safety and a brighter future. The administration's policies are designed to create trauma, fear and chaos in our immigrant communities, but we will not be deterred. We will keep fighting against unjust and inhumane policies that run contrary to our California values of justice, inclusion, equity and opportunity."
“Using parental love as a weapon of terror was the clear intent of this hateful policy,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, (D-Marin County), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “It had nothing to do with the administration of justice, it had nothing to do with the rule of law. It was a threat. A brutal threat against the primary unit of all civilization – the family.”
“The LGBT Caucus stands with families of all backgrounds who have been senselessly separated and treated as less than human,” said Assemblymember Evan Low, (D-Campbell), Chair of the Legislative LGBT Caucus. “We call on a strong immigration fix from Congress that treats refugees with the compassion and humanity they deserve.”
“On behalf of the Legislative Black Caucus,” Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) said, “I stand in solidarity with my colleagues in opposition to the immoral acts of President Trump and by our federal government in separating immigrant families at our southern border. No child deserves to be separated from their parent because that parent is seeking refuge in our nation. No child should have to endure the lifetime of trauma that thousands of children are currently experiencing in cages across this nation. These heartless acts must end immediately.”
"The Trump surrender on his family separation policy proves what can happen when we all stand together to call out injustice,” said Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), chair of the California Women’s Legislative Caucus. “But we must continue the fight. The dye is cast with the Trump Administration and we can be sure they will continue a pattern of abuse and racial scapegoating that speaks to our worst impulses and reminds us of the lowest points in American history; We should all reject the abhorrent practices of caging children and indefinitely detaining families. We must all remain focused on getting Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a safe haven for those escaping political violence, adopts workable programs for migrant workers, provides a pathway to citizenship for dreamers and other immigrants who have waited years for the opportunity to become citizens, and reflects the importance of unifying families; Such reform speaks to the best of our history and represents our highest ideals as a nation.”
Latino Caucus Vice Chair, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) concluded, “Together, the Latino Caucus and the Caucuses represented here remain steadfast in our commitment to protect Californians from the abhorrent policies of Donald Trump. We will not let children be used as pawns; we will not stand by as families are ripped apart, we will not look the other way as the President and his advisers attempt to divide Americans based on the color of their skin or their country of origin.”