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News & Media

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2020

Contact: Heather Cabral, heather@westendstrategy.com, 202.550.6880

Leaders with the LA RED campaign call on elected officials to reject the xenophobic actions of the administration and to implement real, equitable public health protections

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders and immigration advocates condemned President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will sign an executive order to suspend immigration amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. In statements following the announcement, leaders with LA RED, a campaign of Faith in Action, called for Congress to block Trump’s actions and to provide real and equitable public health protections. 

The Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action: “Suspending immigration to the United States will not slow the spread of the coronavirus, rather it will more likely increase the spread of racist violence. We must hold our national leaders accountable and demand that they block President Trump’s latest attempt to harm the immigrant community in this country. Instead of blaming immigrants for problems that have been made worse by federal inaction, our leaders should be ensuring that more people have access to support through the CARES Act, not fewer. The sooner we can provide support to people living or coming here, the sooner we can overcome this pandemic. The people who society casts away as ‘the least of these’ are still serving food to, riding the train with, and cleaning the toilets of the elite. None of us can be healthy unless all of us are healthy.”

Richard Morales, policy and program director, Faith in Action LA RED Campaign: “Trump’s announced executive order suspending immigration is an unsurprising next step in the war he’s waged against immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers since the beginning of his presidential campaign four years ago. His preoccupation with scapegoating the immigrant communities for all of our country’s problem is dangerous and is clear evidence of the overtly white supremacist policies he’s pushed for in this country, including violent deportations of immigrants, the Muslim ban and family separation at the border. Today’s action will do nothing to slow the spread of COVID-19. And we will not allow it to intimidate us. Immigrants are here and we will not leave.”

Nanci Palacios, deputy director, Faith in Florida: “As a DACA recipient who has been involved in the fight for immigration protection against Trump for nearly three years, I am well versed in having to navigate the scare tactics he places on immigrants. This administration continues to blame immigrants for all that goes wrong in America to avoid taking responsibility for the current situation. Meanwhile, immigrants continue to keep this country going, in spite of being left out of all protection and the stimulus package. He has lost control of how to provide guidance to the country and thinks that a bold move like this will help him command attention. In reality, it doesn’t stop the virus and people are still at a loss for how to survive.”

Alicia Contreras, executive director, CORAZÓN: “Saint- Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminds us that we BELONG to one another and that you’re a liar if you say you love God and don’t love your neighbor. President Trump’s announcement blocking immigration during this COVID-19 crisis is nothing more than an attempt to isolate and blame immigrant families. We need leadership in the midst of this pandemic, and this moment is a reminder that immigrant families are our frontline workers in Arizona and across the country. We belong to one another and Arizonans live this value. We are standing together to protect the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Remember we’re ALL in this together.”

Omar Angel Perez, lead organizer, Congregation Action Network: “Once again, the president has steered wrong in failing to properly mitigate the spread of this virus. With no solution to the problems he creates, he sees every ill as an opportunity to tear apart the most vulnerable. He is spinning this virus, which has already evoked fear across the world, into a scare tactic against immigrants. Instead, he should focus on distributing financial aid to all who were snubbed in the stimulus payout. We are all suffering, and suspending immigration will do nothing but make matters worse and increase the anxiety that we are all feeling right now.”

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Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3).  Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.

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