When the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services told reporters this month that the famous poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty was written for “people coming from Europe,” it was yet another window into the ideology behind the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Time and again, this administration has broken the law to exclude immigrants, most of whom are people of color, and punish them for trying to come to the United States.
What’s going on
The administration has done everything it can to prevent people fleeing violence and persecution from legally claiming asylum, tried to eliminate due process for many people fighting deportation, brutally torn children from their parents, celebrated terrifying immigration raids in America’s cities, and amplified false stereotypes about immigrants to garner support for cruel policies.
Much of the weight of these actions has fallen on the shoulders of Latinx and Muslim immigrants — and their families and communities — who have been singled out and treated as intruders by top government officials.
Fighting for rights
We at the ACLU know immigrants are not only right to demand equal protection, due process of law, and other basic rights and freedoms, but are furthering American values when they do so. We see the vital contributions their communities make at every level of our society, economy, and politics.
As you read this, we are in the courts defending asylum laws, challenging punitive immigration enforcement and detention practices, and working to ensure every child who was separated from their parents at the border is reunited and safe. America’s immigrant communities, and the Constitution’s better values, will outlast this administration and its destructive policies.
Omar Jadwat, Director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, [email protected]