Yesterday afternoon, President Trump held a press conference to announce a major shift in US asylum policy. In practice the shift would all but ban asylum and seems to be willfully ignorant of US and international law. Additionally, he announced that the administration intends to begin holding all immigrants—including asylum-seekers and vulnerable families—indefinitely in “tent cities” while they await their immigration court hearings, a process which may take years in many cases. He also escalated his use of threatening language directed at immigrants and asylum-seekers at the southern US border.
In response, Sue Berkowitz, Director of South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center gave the following statement:
What we heard yesterday from President Trump was certainly a continuation of his vile rhetoric as he seeks to dehumanize and demonize vulnerable children, women and men fleeing their homes to escape violence, in search of hope in the US. His address was also a desperate attempt to distract from the violence that he and his allies in Congress are trying to perpetrate upon our most vulnerable neighbors here in America every day.
Just days after the hate crimes committed in Pittsburgh and Louisville, President Trump proved that he is more than willing to ignite further violence, to provide cover for the ongoing attacks on social security, education, access to nutritional food, quality, affordable health care and countless other vital aspects of our nation’s safety net.
The American people want common-sense solutions that bring our nation together. Unfortunately, Trump and other current leaders have shown they are either unwilling or incapable of providing effective solutions for the difficulties facing our nation. Yesterday he demonstrated, once again, that he would rather distract from these real issues, than work together across ideological lines to solve them.
The people of South Carolina and our nation must come together to reject these false narratives at every opportunity and demonstrate that Americans want policies and leaders that bring us together and ensure the government works for us all.