“There is no doubt that this a direct attack on the majority of the country. Trump’s unabashed advancement of right-wing policies reflects his gross neglect of what is profoundly American: to value diversity no matter faith, nationality, skin color—or any self or perceived identity,” declared Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930.
Not even a week into his term, Mr. Trump continues to forge a dangerous path for any type of serious conversation that could bring our country together. Instead, his demagoguery is so polarizing and continues to criminalize people of color, immigrants and refugees, Muslims, women, LGBTQ and indigenous communities.
“No person should fear to simply exist. From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the incarceration of Japanese Americans to the Southeast Asian deportation crisis, our Asian American and Pacific Islander community intimately understands the deep arc of racial violence, oppression, and criminalization against our community,” added Monica Thammarath, APALA 1st Vice President and Senior Liaison of the National Education Association. “And still, our Black and Brown brothers and sisters from all backgrounds continue to face persecution.”
Hester continued: “The economic and cultural contributions of immigrants and refugees on our history and strength as a nation have been immeasurable. To denounce and minimize their existence is to denounce our ideals of freedom and equality that we as Americans hold dear. As an immigrant myself, I am ashamed that the so-called 'leader of the free world' is prioritizing, promoting and expanding state-sanctioned prejudice that panders to a white supremacist status quo.”
“The danger that this administration poses on freedom, civil liberties, and equality has the potential to mar generations to come. This is no time to be complicit with the administration; this is no time to remain silent,” added Yves Gomes, APALA National Executive Board Member and member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 400.
Needed now more than ever is to work with community leaders, organizers on the ground, and local and state representatives in government to protect our communities, our children, and our families from the hateful, racist, Islamophobic, and xenophobic actions that will arise from such orders. We stand side by side with our allies, organizing our bases to protect all immigrants, Muslims, and refugees that are targets of Trump’s deplorable executive actions.
We’re here to stay. We declare black lives matter. We demand not one more deportation. We are better than this – we are stronger than hate.