Hispanic Federation Condemns President Trump’s Border Wall Speech 

NEW YORK, NY —  Hispanic Federation President José Calderón issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s border wall speech:

“In his prime time address to the nation last night, President Trump chose yet again to use his office to fan the flames of xenophobia, fear and division. He has built his political career on spewing baseless and incendiary anti-immigrant rhetoric, and tonight he made sure to touch on all of his favorite scaremongering hits.

The President claimed that immigrants bring and drive up crime in America. That is demonstrably false. Data compiled by law enforcement agencies, states and researchers show that crime has fallen nearly everywhere there has been an increase in the immigrant population. Trump also painted a picture of a lawless border being overrun by growing hordes of foreigners. That is also a blatant lie. Unauthorized border crossings are down nearly 80 percent since 2000, and patrol agents at the southern border have nearly doubled over this period of time.

The President also intimated that immigrants are bad for our economy and bring wages down for our community of workers. This is an old, regurgitated falsehood used by those who wish to divide and harm our nation’s working classes. A wealth of research confirms that our economy is lifted – and in many areas sustained – by immigrant workers.

Finally, Trump said again that Mexico would somehow, indirectly, through financial trickery perhaps, pay for the construction of a wall on our Southern Border. He might as well have claimed that he was going to sell the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge to pay for the wall. Both are just as equally believable.

The fact is that the only crisis at the border today is the humanitarian crisis the President has created through his crusade to harm, punish and tear apart immigrant families and communities. Indeed, we have seen first-hand the impact of the President’s actions: families being denied refuge from violence, sons and daughters being separated from their parents, immigrants enduring physical abuse at the hands of law enforcement officials, and migrant children as young as seven dying from dehydration and exhaustion while in U.S. Border Patrol custody.

To add insult to injury, the President is now holding our national budget hostage – and the paychecks of 800,000 federal workers and vital services that our nation’s residents depend on – to pay for a wasteful and unnecessary wall that would cost the American taxpayer more than $5 billion.

The American people deserve better. We call on Congress to use their constitutionally-endowed powers to challenge the President’s harmful directives, reopen our government and ensure that our country remains a beacon of hope and promise for all Americans and those who wish to join and contribute to our nation of immigrants.”