The Latin American Association released the following statement today in response to the president’s recent executive orders on immigration.

 

Executive Orders on Immigrants and Refugees Undermine America’s Values

In late January, President Donald Trump issued three immigration-focused executive orders, all of which will significantly impact Latino immigrants. The LAA opposes these orders. They are in opposition to the ethos of the United States, as they are not a representation of American values, principles and liberties. Below is a summary of the orders’ key provisions:

  • Border wall: Building a wall along the 1,300-mile U.S./Mexico border is estimated to cost between $10 billion and $25 billion. People throughout Georgia and the United States will be forced to shoulder the cost of a policy that is financially unsound and that will be a symbol to the entire world that the United States is unwelcoming.
  • Turning police into immigration enforcement: Reinvigorating 287(g) agreements and the Secured Communities program will encourage local police to enforce immigration law. Doing this sends a signal to local law enforcement that they should not reach out to immigrants and sends a signal to local immigrant communities that they will be deported if they report crimes.
  • Expanded definition of “criminal”: An expanded definition, such as that enacted by President Trump, could result in the deportation of a large number of immigrants with minor charges.
  • Compromised legal representation: New provisions reduce the time in which immigrants can find legal representation, in many cases making representation all but impossible. These measures will denigrate the civil rights of millions of hardworking Latinos living in the United States.
  • Suspension of U.S. refugee program: Citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries will be barred from the US for 90 days or more, with an indefinite suspension of the entry of Syrian refugees. Such actions do not enhance security and violate decades of principled tradition, undercutting the US reputation as a global champion of human rights.

The LAA believes that the sweeping executive orders signed by the president run counter to American ideals, undermine U.S. leadership and are counterproductive. Instead, we urge the president to work with Congress on comprehensive immigration reform and collaborative refugee policies that will more holistically address our nation’s challenges.