NEW YORK — Two Caribbean American legislators have expressed outrage over newly installed President Donald Trump’s signing of executive orders for sweeping crackdowns on undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants.
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, have vowed to fight the orders.
On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Trump signed the orders for aggressive efforts aimed at finding and deporting unauthorized immigrants. The orders also penalize communities, such as New York City, which offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.
“This vicious attack on families across the United States cannot stand,” Clarke told the Caribbean Media Corporation. “There are more than 10 million people here, in our communities, who want to obtain legal status and become full members of our civil society.”
“Their numbers include several hundred thousand young women and men who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and are now attending college, working, and serving in the armed forces,” added the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.
She said people of good faith – both Democrats and Republicans – have worked for years to enact comprehensive immigration reform and that she has joined in that work.
“But, with Donald Trump’s executive orders, our immigration laws are under the control of individuals whose dislike of the ‘other’ now dictates policy,” said Clarke, noting that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have pledged to protect all families in New York City. “I will join them in that fight.”
At her community swearing-in ceremony Wednesday evening at the Theodore Roosevelt District Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom in downtown Brooklyn, Clarke told a packed audience that she is ready to go toe to toe over the issue.
“Right now, we’re on very shaky grounds,” she said after she was sworn in for her 11th year in the U.S. House of Representatives by Justice Paul Wooten, flanked by, among others, her Jamaican-born parents, Leslie and Una Clarke.
“So, I encourage everyone to stay ‘woke'” she added. “We’re undeterred. I’m on the battlefield. I make no apologies.
“Can you imagine when the deportation forces start moving all the people in our community?” Clarke asked. “Well, we have to do something about it. We have to be ready. We should be proactive in the face of it. So, I’m committed to fight for each and every one of you in the community.”
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