Congressman Adriano Espaillat issued the following statement today in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration reform:
“I am deeply concerned yet not at all surprised by President Trump’s hardline policies on immigration reform. The President’s anti-immigrant agenda is a continuation of the irrational and hateful rhetoric we have witnessed from him before and stands contrary to who we are as Americans and to what we believe as a nation.
“In 1987, then President Ronald Reagan issued one of his most famous speeches, ‘Tear down this wall!’ to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to insist that he open the barrier dividing West and East Berlin. It was a moment of hope, strength and character that propelled our country to a higher regard and standard of our identity throughout the global community.
“Today, in stark contrast, President Trump’s order to construct a $25 billion wall to divide communities, separate families, and perpetuate fear and hate sets a dangerous precedent and fails to elevate our country and confidence abroad. The economic ramifications will be devastating to New York City as today’s orders puts our communities in danger as funds will be redirected from securing our city to building the wall. These executive actions also restore secure communities, straining relationships between law enforcement and the immigrant community.
“As a member of Congress, and once an undocumented immigrant, I support common sense immigration reform, and refuse to accept racism and bigotry as a policy solution. I will not fall prey to being bullied and vow to fight and challenge President Trump on any and all anti-immigration policies that will lessen American values and our standing as a beacon of hope and freedom for all.”