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President’s comments only fuel advocacy to gain permanent residency for Dreamers, TPS recipients

Regressive actions ‘shrinking the soul of our country, creating imploding nationalism’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contacts:
Jan Dragin, Dragin Communications, 24/7, 011 339 236-0679
Shayna Lewis, UUSC, 011 617-301-4333

***Editors, producers: UUSC’s Vice President Rachel Freed, a human rights lawyer, is available for interviews by arrangement.***

WASHINGTON, D.C./BOSTON, Mass. — Friday January 12, 2018 — “As if this country’s alleged leader couldn’t go any lower, we are again impressed by his capacity,” said Rachel Gore Freed, Vice President of human rights organization Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Freed’s comments today follow Thursday reports that President Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries.”

UUSC Vice President Rachel Gore Freed issued this statement:

“When leaders of Congress met Thursday afternoon with President Trump to review a bipartisan deal intended to protect DACA recipients — and the conversation turned to part of the proposal referring to the Temporary Protected Status program for Haitians, Salvadorans and people from some nations in Africa — Trump then reportedly referred to those nations, and by implication the entire continent of Africa, as ‘shithole countries.’

“We are outraged. Under no circumstance is such a statement acceptable coming from the president of the United States.

“In a discussion with lawmakers about restoring protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador and certain African countries, President Trump demanded to know why he should accept immigrants from these countries rather than people from places like Norway.

“This abhorrent, xenophobic comment is the most recent in a string of not-so-veiled indicators that the white supremacist agenda continues to thrive in the White House and actively seeks to criminalize people on the basis of identity.

“In what is clearly a reflection of blatant racism and an intent to reduce the very spirit of this country and its diversity, President Trump had also compared immigrants who come to this country under the Diversity Visa to garbage, during his speech to graduates of the FBI Academy.

“Racist ravings have no place in immigration policy. The president’s actions only fuel UUSC’s commitment to work in solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities, to ensure that the U.S. opens pathways for permanent legal residency, including for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and by preserving the vital Diversity Visa.

“We will not allow our government to slowly pull this country back toward the regressive and racist U.S. immigration policies of the pre-civil rights era. Such actions are shrinking the soul of our country, creating an imploding nationalism that further diminishes U.S. standing, strength and influence on the global stage.

“The protracted deliberations of our members of Congress on a tough spending bill have been grueling, as they also sought nonetheless to find bipartisan ways to bring permanent legal status to young Dreamers and extended protections for TPS recipients.

“Rather than appeal to White House whims and its mentally unfiltered bellicose vicissitudes’, we turn solely now to those in the position to do something about the issue— rational members of Congress.”

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