Today, President Donald Trump signed executive orders during an appearance at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directing the agency to expand the southern border wall, broaden aggressive interior enforcement targeting immigrants, increase Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff by five thousand new officers, empower CBP to turn away asylum seekers, and end Federal funding to “sanctuary cities.”
The move illustrates that President Trump will abide by his anti-immigrant campaign promises, putting millions of America’s immigrants at risk and causing widespread fear.
The following is a statement from Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition:
“President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration are an affront to America’s basic values of dignity, liberty and justice and have deep repercussions for basic civil liberties and the rights afforded by our Constitution. He has made a clear choice to turn the hateful rhetoric of his campaign into action, taking directives straight from the anti-immigrant playbook.
“His actions today will have disastrous effects on America’s immigrant communities. As a founding member of the Northern Borders Coalition, the NYIC knows the harmful ramifications of the President’s aggressive border enforcement will be felt across the country. His Executive Order will militarize the border - including border communities along New York’s 500-mile border, from New York City to Buffalo - and will jeopardize basic civil rights and civil liberty protections for both immigrant and native-born New Yorkers alike. Trump’s mandate to triple interior enforcement, increase workplace raids, empower local police to act as immigration agents, and use military-style policing will further terrorize, harass, and abuse immigrant communities and long-time residents. This unprecedented “deportation force” goes against promises made by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other legislators and is simply a betrayal of American values.
“Furthermore, New York will not be intimidated by President Trump’s threats to block Federal funding for sanctuary cities. We stand by the dozens of New York cities who have made a commitment to uphold the basic human rights of its residents, regardless of immigration status.
“This may be just the first of many dehumanizing, unconstitutional actions targeting immigrants in America. New York is home to millions of immigrants and our Coalition will resist these actions at every turn and will do everything in our power to protect our communities from them. We call on all people of conscience, including our elected officials--Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand-- to step up and do everything they can to fulfill their promises to protect New York’s four million immigrants.”
The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.