Caribbean Legislators Condemn Attacks on Immigrant Communities

Yvette Clarke

NEW YORK, CMC – Two Caribbean American legislators have strongly condemned United States President Donald J. Trump’s attacks on Caribbean and other immigrant communities ahead of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s planned sweep on Sunday.

Trump said on Friday that ICE will conduct the nationwide raids to arrest and deport undocumented Caribbean and other migrants.

Tired of onslaught on immigrants

But Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that they were “disgusted” by Trump’s ongoing onslaught on immigrants.

“I am disgusted that Donald Trump has issued ICE raids across 10 of our nation’s largest cities, including New York City, to begin on Sunday,” said Clarke, who represents the largely Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York.

Bigoted Strategy

“These ICE raids are nothing more than a bigoted strategy that terrorizes more than 2,000 immigrants and will cause the separation of even more families.  Trump’s immigration policies are inhumane and reflect the darkest parts of our history,” she added. This must come to an end.

“I vow to remain a leader in Congress who is working to protect our beloved immigrant community while resisting Donald Trump. And I encourage immigrants within New York’s 9th Congressional District to contact my office to understand their rights,” Clarke said.

Williams, who has held a series of events to distribute “Know Your Right” literature at sites across New York City, in anticipation of potential raids, noted that “Trump wants to dismantle immigrant communities in this country one way or another.

“Whether by defying the Constitution in his failed attempts to target non-citizens with the census, or defying basic humanity by targeting individuals and families with ICE raids, he is determined to discount, deport and disappear immigrants across the country,” he told CMC.

“As his administration continues its assault on immigrant communities with planned ICE raids in the coming days, those of us with power, with privilege, with a voice, need to stand up for those being attacked.

“To all immigrants in our city who are under threat, you have allies and advocates who are with you. We won’t be discounted. We won’t disappear. We will keep fighting for you,” Williams said.

The raids, which were initially scheduled for June, were jettisoned until Sunday.

Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that there was “nothing to be secret about” Sunday’s sweep, describing it as “a major operation.”

“It starts on Sunday, and they’re (ICE agents) going to take people out, and they’re going to bring them back to their countries, or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from,” Trump added.

Culture of fear and division

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio – a Democratic presidential candidate, whose wife, Chirlane McCray, traces her roots to Barbados and St. Lucia – said that Trump’s tactics is purely designed to “create a culture of fear and division.

“I think it’s a political act to convince a lot of people in America that immigrants are the problem.. You know, I said this at the first Democratic debate – the immigrants did not create people’s economic suffering. The folks who are middle-class, working-class American citizens who feel like the American dream has passed them by – the immigrants didn’t do that to them, the folks working in the fields, the folks working in the kitchens didn’t do that to them.

“The big corporations, the powers that be did that to them – had the power to determine the economy – that’s who did it to them. But the president is very clever. Well, let’s be clear – he’s not taking 11 million people out of the United States of America or the economy will collapse. So, this is about fear again,” the Mayor said.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said: “This shameful assault on families across the country will no doubt lead to further separations of children from their parents and ‘collateral arrests’ by ICE, where individuals with no orders of deportation will be detained.”

“This politically motivated directive is despicable and inhumane, and New York will fight it,” Cuomo said in a statement.

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