WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined some 100 demonstrators outside U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters on Tuesday to send a message to President Donald Trump: Stop terrorizing immigrant families.
“For the last many hundreds of years, wonderful people against great odds have stood up to fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia,” Sanders said. “We have fought against all of those efforts to divide us up. And our message to Mr. Trump is we are not going backwards. We are going forward.”
The overwhelming majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, Sanders said, are “hard-working, decent people” striving for a better life for their families.
“Our job as Americans, our job as members of Congress, is to pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship,” he said. “President Trump thinks he’s a tough guy because he’s taking on farm workers who make nine or ten bucks an hour; he’s a tough guy because he can throw moms and dads out of this country. Well, I say to Mr. Trump, ‘If you’re such a tough guy, why don’t you take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and Wall Street?’”
“Stop picking on the poor,” Sanders said. “Stop picking on undocumented.”
Roughly two weeks ago, Trump signed a second, scaled-back travel ban, after his first was struck down by federal judges. Last week, a federal judge in Hawaii placed a nationwide hold on key aspects of the revised ban just hours before it was to take effect.
The Trump administration has also ramped up deportation efforts and, as Reuters reports, plans to direct U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to expand the categories of immigrants they target in their raids, Reuters reports.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) told the crowd that too often taxpayer dollars have been spent to tear immigrant families apart and violate their civil rights.
“We are here to tell this administration that this is our country too,” she said.