As President Donald J. Trump steps up attacks on immigrants, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and other members of New York City’s congressional delegation are urging the president to meet with immigrant communities.
In a letter dispatched to Trump on Wednesday, the congressional representatives asked him to “meet with immigrants and families, instead of holding hateful and unproductive events that demonize the immigrant community.”
The congressional delegation noted that Trump has convened two events in recent weeks, including one in Long Island, “that demonized and belittled the valuable contributions of immigrants living in the United States, painting immigrants as criminals and referring to them as, ‘animals.’”
“Given Long Island’s proximity to New York City — one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world — the Members of Congress urged the president to host another discussion — this time with immigrants and their families,” the statement said.
In addition to Clarke, the letter was signed by Reps. Joe Crowley, Nydia Velázquez, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Jose Serrano, Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel.
“Yesterday’s meeting is the second time in two weeks that you decided to focus your comments and your administration’s efforts on MS-13, instead of the millions of hard-working immigrants in this country who are enriching their communities every single day,” the congressional delegation wrote on Wednesday.
“There is no question that gangs, like MS-13, are a danger in our communities. No one knows this better than the innocent immigrant communities that are terrorized by these gangs every day,” they add. “However, your insistence on likening all immigrant communities to these street gangs is un-American.
“We invite you to join us in New York City for a roundtable to hear from immigrant communities, who are nothing like the criminals you label them to be,” the Members of Congress continued.
In the letter, the lawmakers criticize the president for choosing to hold a discussion on immigration “without including the very people who have immigrated to America, the overwhelming majority of whom are successful, law-abiding and hard-working citizens.
“Perhaps, they may convince you to start focusing your efforts on fixing our broken immigration system, instead of focusing on enforcement-only policies,” they said.