Borough President Brewer issued the following statement reacting to President Donald J. Trump’s signature of an executive order restricting immigration for all refugees, as well as all persons coming from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. While text of the order is not yet publicly available, a draft obtained by media outlets and published Wednesday contained a blanket ban on all refugees and a ban on all persons coming from the countries listed above.
“This newest action from the White House confirms what has already been made clear: Mr. Trump and the people working for him simply have no idea what it is to be American, and Mr. Trump clearly does not know what it means to be a son of the world’s greatest immigrant city.
“There is nothing – nothing – more un-American than a blanket ban on refugees and immigrants rooted in religious and racial distrust and fear. That is what this is. The people working for Mr. Trump can dress this up however they like, they can claim this is about security, but we know better: this is about bowing to – and stoking – fear, prejudice, hate, and scapegoating.
“This action would be odious no matter the date. But on Holocaust Remembrance Day of all days, to ban refugees and immigrants because of who they are and where they are from is to show the most depraved indifference to history and our need to live our values. One of our nation’s greatest moral collapses was its failure to take in refugees seeking to escape the Holocaust, and to repeat that failure on this day is unspeakably shameful.
“I am an American citizen. I believe in liberty and justice for all, and I believe that this nation, imperfect though it is, has been and must continue to be a light to the world. I refuse to accept that this man will put that light out for good. But that light flickered and darkened today.
“New York has been and will remain a place where immigrants are welcomed and immigration is celebrated as part of our heritage. I stand with our immigrant communities, and that support will not waver.”