New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) this morning criticized President Donald J. Trump’s forthcoming proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border to stem the inflow of undocumented workers.
“Implementing policies that reverse our nation’s great long-standing tradition of embracing the world’s most vulnerable people is un-American,” Prieto said in a statement. “America is built on immigrants. The huddled masses yearning to breathe free have helped make America the place where people of all backgrounds and creeds can pursue life, liberty and happiness. It is not a place of unrealistic walls. It is not a place where we turn our backs on the world’s most vulnerable people. Refugees seeking freedom are not threats. They are our future neighbors, friends and family.”
According to the BBC, Trump has a big national security day planned for today, including an announcement to build a wall on the border between the US and Mexico, followed by signing orders on immigration and border security later this week.
A Cuban-born immigrant, Prieto bristled.
“I know this better than most,” he said. I’ve lived under a heartless and murderous regime that hated liberty. I know what it’s like to escape that reality and find freedom. I don’t want that opportunity ever denied to anyone in need.
“President Trump scored cheap political points on the campaign trail by targeting immigrants,” the speaker added. “It was horrifying. It’s even worse to see him put his un-American plans into action. I urge all people of goodwill to stand up to President Trump and remind him of America’s great tradition as a place where the world’s most vulnerable can find a ‘lamp beside the golden door.’”