Mayor Bill de Blasio took the lead Sunday in condemning President Donald Trump’s policies at a gala “Women Celebrating Women” Awards ceremony at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.
“To build power, we need leadership,” said de Blasio in addressing the sell-out event that comprised a number of New York legislators. “The next few months is a moment of peril, because we know who’s in the White House.
“This is the moment, because people are yearning for change,” added the mayor at the ceremony organized by the Brooklyn-based Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA), headed by the trailblazing, former New York City Councilwoman Jamaican Una S.T. Clarke.
“Job no. 1 is to make sure Yvette Clarke wins the primary for Congress,” he continued. “God will not spare us if we don’t work hard. Help Yvette not to be in the lonely group in the House of Representatives. We want Yvette to be in the majority.”
Without calling the president’s name, Clarke said “45 (the 45th president) has the dignity of calling African and Haitian ‘s—hole countries.’
“No words they throw at us can stop us from rising up,” she said. “The battle is on. We’re not, by any means, afraid of what’s going on right now. It’s good versus evil.
“Let’s draw the line,” added Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn. “There’s no grey area. When you go and deport people, that’s evil.
“As Hakeem Jeffries (representative for the 8th Congressional District in Brooklyn and parts of Queens) said, ‘may be not everyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist, but every racist voted for Donald Trump,’” Clarke continued. “So, many of you left your nation on faith. Don’t give up.”
Clarke, late last month, welcomed the United States Supreme Court’s declension of an unusual White House request that it immediately decide whether the Trump administration can shut down a program that shields some 700,000 young, undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants from deportation.
The court’s decision meant that the immigrants, often refer to as “Dreamers,” could remain in legal limbo for many months unless the US Congress acts to make their status permanent.
“SCOTUS’ [Supreme Court of the United States] decision not to expedite Trump’s DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] challenge is welcome news,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants told Caribbean Life.
“Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA was legally questionable, unjust, and downright foolish,” she added. “Now it’s up to Congress to fix it.”
Analysts said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Trump’s appeal was expected, since no appeals court has yet ruled on the issue.
Last September Trump terminated DACA, stating that is an unconstitutional use of executive power by former President Barack Obama and reviving the threat of deportation for Caribbean and other immigrants who had been brought to the United States illegally as young children.
But two US federal judges have ordered the Trump administration to maintain major pieces of the program while legal challenges move forward, notably by requiring the administration to allow people enrolled in it to renew their protected status, according to the New York Times.
It said the administration has not sought stays of those injunctions.
The US Supreme Court’s move will, as a practical matter, temporarily shield the young immigrants who already had signed up for the DACA program from immediate deportation, and allow them to keep working legally in the United States. Their status lasts for two years and is renewable, the Times said.
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, representative for the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn, who co-hosted Sunday’s gala at Tropical Paradise Ballroom, said it is a difficult task working with Trump.
“Congress has to work with #45, and that is not easy,” she told patrons. “I’m calling on you for a higher power to get this done.”