Published On: Fri, Jan 27th, 2017

Outspoken US Legislator with Caribbean roots among those fighting Trump’s immigration orders

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke says “this vicious attack on families across the United States cannot stand”.

yvette-clarke-congresswomanNEW YORK – A Caribbean-American legislator is vowing to fight for immigrants following President Donald Trump’s executive orders expanding immigration raids across the United States.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke made the pledge yesterday on the heels of Trump signing the executive orders that include penalties for so-called sanctuary cities – jurisdictions that, through a range of policies, shield undocumented immigrants.

The order will strip federal grant money from these states and cities, including New York City which Clarke, a daughter of Jamaican immigrants, serves.

The representatives for the 9th Congressional District of New York, which includes communities that are predominantly Caribbean, said in her statement that “this vicious attack on families across the United States cannot stand”.

“There are more than ten million people here, in our communities, who want to obtain legal status and become full members of our civil society. Their numbers include several hundred thousand young women and men who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme and are now attending college, working, and serving in the armed forces,” she said.

Clarke contended that people of good faith – both Democrats and Republicans – have worked for years to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and she had joined in that work.

But, she lamented, “with Donald Trump’s executive orders, our immigration laws are under the control of individuals whose dislike of the ‘other’ now dictates policy”.

“Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo [of New York] have pledged to protect all families in New York City. I will join them in that fight,” Clarke promised.

Meantime, the New York Times is reporting that mayors of other sanctuary cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago – are also planning to put up a fight to protect the immigrants in their communities.

“I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city,” Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was quoted as saying.

President Trump’s executive orders also included his first step in fulfilling a campaign promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

He has instructed the Homeland Security Secretary to take steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border.

“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump said when he signed the orders at the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security yesterday.

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