AFSC condemns the decisions and demeaning comments that the Trump administration made last week about the migrant population in the United States.
We are proudly reminded that immigrants from all over the world—including Haiti, El Salvador, Africa, and elsewhere—have contributed to the development and growth of the U.S. and should be recognized for their commitment, courage, and resourcefulness.
Reports of President Trump's racist comments were shared on the same day that Haiti was commemorating the eighth anniversary of its 2010 earthquake, one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the country—a day that still hurts in the hearts of Haitians and people around the world. On this day, we honored the resiliency of the Haitian people, a community that worked together to stand up and survive, despite the many challenges they faced. This day was meant to honor the courage, strength, and good hearts of Haitians and all the world that stood with Haiti in support.
For many years, AFSC has worked in El Salvador and Haiti with the most affected communities to build peace and prevent violence. We also partner with local communities to address the root causes of migration, knowing that many do not leave their home countries for the U.S. voluntarily. There are several factors—including violence, extreme poverty, and disease—that push people to make the difficult decision to leave their loved ones, their cultures, and their lives behind. They have dreams, and they hope to have their hard work fairly rewarded so they can simply provide for their families and secure a better future for their children.
Today is a good day to remind ourselves that the difficulties that individuals and families face in El Salvador and Haiti are also a consequence of international policy decisions and the pressure to protect external interests. Today is a good day to remember that there are millions of people in the U.S. who also denounce the language that the president has used to refer to people in the Latin American and Caribbean region and elsewhere.
AFSC recognizes the humanity in every individual, and we demand that all people be treated with respect and dignity.
- We advocate for U.S. diplomatic representatives in El Salvador and Haiti to speak out against xenophobic and demeaning statements from the president and to demonstrate commitment and respect for these countries that historically have opened their doors and welcomed citizens from around the world.
- We advocate for the U.S. to respect the many courageous individuals and groups around the world who have won battles against racism and discrimination throughout our history.
- We advocate for relationships between countries based on the respect of human dignity, common good, and unity. Every action taken by the U.S. should be based on these principles, which go beyond the economic contribution that people make to a country’s economy. Only dialogue and mutual respect will allow us to build safer countries for everyone.
Please stand with us in our demands, and join us in calling for legal permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants in the United States.
One way to do that is by taking action today. Call Congress, and tell them to defend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and other countries.