Last week’s State of the Union address by President Trump showed that he is more interested in sowing division than in forging unity. This is a President who is openly hostile to the majority of Americans and cares only about his shrinking base. The fact that he could only look at one side of the room during his speech reveals all you need to know about his intended audience.
His immigration riffs were especially ugly. He invoked immigrant families, Latino law enforcement agents and grieving African American parents to promote a strategy of deporting Latino and Black immigrants and slashing the legal immigration levels of Latinos and African Americans by some 60%. Shameless, disgusting and cynical.
Instead of lifting up the shared humanity of all those who aspire to be full and equal members of the American family, he sneered that “Americans are dreamers, too,” a not-too-subtle swipe at young immigrants whose lives were plunged into crisis by his decision to end DACA.
Finally, he promoted a radical White House immigration proposal. Authored by Stephen Miller, the plan exploits the precarious status of Dreamers – a crisis he caused – and cynically uses them to push for a radical restructuring of our legal immigration system that harkens back to the racist national origins policies of the 1920s. Far from a “compromise” that can pass, it is a deeply partisan proposal that, fortunately, is dead on arrival. Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult to enact legislation that protects Dreamers, something 87% of Americans favor.
This is not a President for all Americans. He is a President who divides, denigrates and dehumanizes based on a worldview that some are worthy and most are not. This couldn’t be more un-American.
Our nation is based not on race, creed or birthplace, but on shared ideas and ideals. To realize America’s potential, these ideas and ideals need to be respected, nurtured, and realized in practice. Tonight, our nation was sullied by a man who exalts himself at the expense of the American experiment. It is up to people of good will and conscience to stand up to him and those in his party who enable him so that we may live to see a brighter day for the nation we love.
By Frank Sharry
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.
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