LatinoJustice Response to SOTU
The President’s State of the Union address last night offered no surprises. The platitudes about DREAMers, Puerto Rico and unity made for a dry reminder that this administration’s policies on issues impacting Latinos, immigrants and other marginalized communities are dangerous, retrogressive and subject to a given day’s whim.
LatinoJustice will double down on its work against these retrogressive policies. We will continue to take to the courts and the streets to ensure that Latinos rise against the tide of hate promoted by the policies and actions of the federal administration.
- On Puerto Rico, the President failed to specifically address the growing humanitarian crisis that will now be compounded by FEMA’s intent to withdraw its support beginning February 1st. With up to 40% of Puerto Rico residents still without power, the economy bottoming out and thousands of Puerto Ricans still displaced, this administration has doubled down on its contempt for the lives of Latinos. There can be no stronger statement that the lives of Puerto Rican Americans are expendable. Unfortunately, this is not a departure for an administration that has shown, from day one, its disdain for the island, the ongoing debt economic crisis and the millions of people affected by it.
- On immigration and DREAMers, the president alluded to a plan that divides our country, pitting DREAMers against other groups of immigrants, including their own family members. The divisive policies proposed by this administration are hateful and have explicit racial tones. This administration created the DACA immigration crisis and is now using the opportunity to make politically-expedient promises it seems intent to break while demonizing and criminalizing Latino immigrants – both documented and undocumented.
- On criminal justice policy, the President offers reform for reentry with no specifics, all while his Attorney General advocates taking the country back to outdated and ineffective "tough on crime" policies that have failed us and made America the largest imprisoner in the world. This administration ignores decades of failed drug and criminal justice policies to maintain its campaign, on all fronts, against communities of color.
The Trump administration's use of fear mongering, its retrenchment into failed drug and criminal justice policies, and its dismissal of the plight of Latinos – citizen and non-citizen alike – only reinforces our commitment to fight for the rights of Latinos. The State of the Union was nothing more than a thinly veiled proposal of white supremacist ideals meant to promote policies designed to criminalize and demoralize communities of color.
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