As he was inaugurated to his third term as New York governor on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered a forceful message: “Never forget where you came from.”
Speaking on Ellis Island, once a portal for immigrants, the Democrat took several swings at President Donald Trump’s White House, even targeting the commander in chief’s ancestry.
“This is the harbor where Frederick Trump arrived from Germany and whose grandson would become president of the United States,” Cuomo said. “Don’t you tell me Ellis Island isn’t real and true and the promise that made America lives today because it does.”
The governor also took aim at the president’s No. 2, cautioning the audience to “never forget or deny this place because this is the place where Richard Cawley arrived fleeing starvation in Ireland and whose grandson is now Vice President Mike Pence.”
Cuomo has made no secret of his disdain for Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric, announcing on Monday his decision to pardon 22 immigrants who may have been deported over their criminal records and calling out the president for “waging a war on our border against” their communities.
His speech on Tuesday made clear he was doubling down on the criticism.
“New York will move forward not by building a wall, my friends, but by building new bridges, and building new airports, and creating new middle class jobs and an economic future for the next generation and showing us how good we can be at our best when we are together,” the governor said.
The federal government has been shut down since Dec. 22 over Congress’ inability to pass a spending bill adhering to Trump’s demands for money to build a wall on the southern border. While the proposal passed the GOP-led House, it was stopped by the Senate, meaning the government will likely not resume full operations until after the House officially flips to Democrats on Thursday.