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Pallone and Local Leaders Show Solidarity Against Trump Executive Orders on Immigration

January 30, 2017
Press Release

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Today in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and local leaders voiced their opposition to Trump’s executive orders on immigration. Last week, President Trump signed executive orders for construction of a Mexican border wall and targeting sanctuary cities by threatening to revoke federal funding to those jurisdictions. On Friday, he suspended visas from several majority-Muslim nations while preventingall refugees from entering the country for 120 days.  President Trump has also threatened to revoke DACA (Deferring Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program implemented in 2012 by President Obama to allow certain undocumented immigrants to the United States who entered as minors to stay in the country.

Those attending included Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler and Representatives of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, Latino Action Network, NJ Working Families Alliance, LUPE, PRAB, Manavi, , SEIU, Citizen Action, NJ Catholic Conference, CAIR Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of NJ, Catholic Charities Diocese of Metuchen, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ, New Labor, Immigration Voice, the Piscataway Board of Education and others.

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Yesterday, Congressman Pallone attended rallies in Teaneck, NJ and Elizabeth, NJ to protest the Trump administration’s sweeping immigration ban. Pallone has called Trump’s executive orders a “continuation of his impractical, dangerous and discriminatory beliefs.”

“President Trump has made it a priority to target immigrants and falsely blame them for our nation’s challenges,” said Pallone. “Rather than working towards real solutions, he is focused on building an unnecessary and impractical wall and penalizing communities that protect their residents instead of fostering mistrust and suspicion between local law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect. I’m so proud of the courage displayed here in Perth Amboy today and I know that the people of New Jersey will never give into President Trump’s bigotry.”

“As the Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy and as the President of the New Jersey Urban Mayor’s Association, it is my duty to do my best to protect our community and that includes our undocumented residents, those hardworking families, whose children are pursuing an education and seeking a better life in the great United States of America. We must protect our Cities-- I for one intend to do so,” said Mayor Wilda Diaz. 

"In one week President Trump has turned America into a state of repression and fear not only for immigrants but for all of us,” said Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park. “The stability of our towns and cities has been completely undermined.  We must fight back, fast, to make sure the President knows that we won't fall for the lie, like so many nations have, that totalitarian approaches to governing bring safety, hope and joy to a nation."  

“It is a central, centuries-old tenet of people of faith that we stand up for those on the margins: the widow, the poor, the orphan and the stranger,” said Rev. Rob Gregson, Exec. Director, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey “In other words--the immigrant.  We as Unitarian Universalists have a moral obligation to stand up for basic standards of decency and against the president's executive order.  It will force our local police men and women to turn from being guardians of public safety to becoming enforcers of the most extreme version of immigration ‘reform’ and coercive control.  Controlling borders makes sense.  Dragging good, hardworking, community connected people from their homes and away from their children and families does not.”  

“Serving the community on a daily basis affords community-serving agencies such as PRAB the opportunity to engage many local residents,” said José Carlos Montes, CEO of PRAB, which serves Central New Jersey. “We get to see the lasting, positive contributions that community members make to the social fabric of our society. Indeed, our immigrant residents are helping to improve conditions in their neighborhoods and municipalities. They are working and attending schools. They’re complying with prevailing laws and ordinances. They also are engaged in civic life, adding to the social, economic, cultural stability of our cities, townships, and boroughs. Removing support to immigrant populations would destabilize all who live, work, and study in these municipalities. Instead, greater support should be given to community-serving agencies to bring about the effective transition of immigrant individuals and families in their municipalities.”