Less than a week into the Trump administration and we have been witness to an unprecedented torrent of self-centered, self-promoting, and self-aggrandizing acts. Continuing an effort to govern by grandstanding, based on half-truths at best, blatant untruths, and pushing indefensible “alternative facts,” Trump has now taken aim at yet another vulnerable community: immigrants.
As a Brooklynite, as a New Yorker, and as a State Senator, let me reassure our immigrant friends and neighbors, you have an ally in me and in millions of other people of good conscience across our country. We know that we must demand a humane immigration system, a forward-thinking system that builds bridges for Dreamers, and a compassionate system that provides for refugees.
“The Trump administration offers precisely the opposite of this cherished American tradition.”
New York in particular has a longstanding history of welcoming people from the world over, “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” And we have been stronger because of that open-hearted stance. Indeed throughout our history, we have greatly gained from those who chose to call our community home. We have welcomed talents the likes of Albert Einstein. At least two Secretaries of State came to our shores as refugees, as did Isabel Allende, Hannah Arendt, Béla Bartók, and Gloria Estefan. Countless millions more have become an integral part of our community, bringing their entrepreneurship, their skills, and their dreams for a better future.
The Trump administration offers precisely the opposite of this cherished American tradition. With his sweeping executive order covering immigration, refugees, and enforcement, the Trump administration seeks to pressure state and local government into becoming the tool of this heartless policy. A policy of tearing families apart. A policy whose unforgiving cruelty would wreak havoc on our neighborhoods. And a policy that continues Trump’s record of denigrating and defaming the contributions of immigrants.
I will have no part in Trump’s attempts to enlist state and local government in this cruel effort. I will resist by way of advancing a budget that makes whole every sanctuary community in New York. I will resist by way of supporting lawsuits that challenge the proposition that the federal government can instruct states and localities in this unconstitutional manner. I will resist by way of passing legislation that affirms our New York values. And I will resist by way of protesting this affront to America’s immigrant heritage.
Factless. Truthless. Merciless. That is the vision on offer from Trump. Join me in rejecting that vision. Join our Civil and Human Rights Task Force, or let me know about the ways you plan on resisting Trump: <[email protected]>.