The following is a statement from Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund:
“For the last two weeks Donald Trump and his advisors have been talking out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to his plans for our immigration system. Tonight, the truth became clear --Donald Trump has doubled down on even more anti-immigrant hate, dangerous, nonsensical proposals, and a truly frightening vision of dealing with America’s 42 million immigrants.
After tonight’s speech, it’s clear that not only does Donald Trump not understand how this country’s immigration system works, he has a fundamental disrespect for immigrants and the families who call the United States home. By claiming that immigration reform “should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens” and no one else, he telegraphs quite clearly his values: that the 42 million immigrants who call America home are simply worth less than American citizens.
This is a betrayal of the promise of America and the values that make us who we are.
Tonight, Donald Trump laid out a plan that proved he’s deadly serious about enacting starkly anti-immigrant policies: from creating a deportation task force to rip families apart while attempting to deport 11 million people, to implementing an “ideological test” to incoming immigrants on their ability to “assimilate,” to suspending immigration altogether from certain countries based on vague principles. And of course we can’t forget about that “great wall,” which will cost billions of dollars to build and will do nothing to keep us safe nor solve our immigration system.
Time and time again Trump has demonstrated his commitment to a campaign strategy that is about attempting to win votes by inciting fear and hatred, not about providing real solutions.
But that's not the right answer for America, not for protecting family values, or for our 21st century economy. Immigrants are our neighbors and family members, they pay local and federal taxes, they go to our churches, attend our schools, and shop in our stores. In New York alone almost 30% of all business are owned and operated by immigrants. New Yorkers won’t be fooled by Trump’s most recent campaign machinations--we know what’s at stake in this election.
The choice for New York - and America - has become even more clear after tonight: a President Donald Trump is a nightmare for immigrant communities and our allies, and we must do everything we can to elect a candidate - Hillary Clinton - who will bring a sensible, smart and humane approach for the 4.3 million New Yorkers who might have been born abroad but are Americans through and through.”