Republicans Follow Donald Trump Down Path of Hateful Immigration Rhetoric

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 22, 2015Contact: Donna De La Cruz (202) 339-9331

The following is a statement from Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM):

“Congressional Republicans who were reluctant to denounce Donald Trump for his incendiary comments about Mexican immigrants are showing this week that they fully support the presidential candidate’s beliefs that all immigrants are criminals and should be treated as such.

What Republicans and Trump won’t discuss is that the vast majority of immigrants are law-abiding and have contributed greatly to their adopted country. An American Immigration Council report  shows that not only are immigrants less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, but over a century of research shows that higher immigration levels have actually aligned with lower crime rates.

Instead, they have decided to seize on any opportunity to heap more xenophobic rhetoric and legislation on the Republican band wagon. This time they want to make broad changes to national immigration policy that would actually hurt local law enforcement agencies who have strived to gain trust with their immigrant communities.

Instead of helping fix the nation’s broken immigration system that continues to separate families, Republicans continue to look at our community in the worst light. Latino and immigrant voters want solutions, not more biased rhetoric from Republicans.

Yes, people should be held accountable if they commit crimes. But punishing local law enforcement communities who have worked hard to provide immigrants with a safe place to live is not only irresponsible and unsafe, it’s basically a civil rights violation.

Instead of following the Pied Piper of anti-immigration rhetoric further down the path of hateful speech, Republicans must instead focus on real solutions, like the comprehensive immigration reform bills they have been blocking for years that will keep families together as the vast majority of law-abiding immigrants in the U.S. strive to become full-fledged citizens.”