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Rep. Chu Statement on Trump’s Assault on Migrants and Militarization of the Border

November 26, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC — Over the weekend, following an order by President Trump to allow the military to use lethal force against migrants at our southern border, an incident occurred near the San Ysidro crossing where border patrol agents fired tear gas at unarmed women and children seeking to enter the country and request asylum as the law permits. President Trump temporarily ordered the crossing to be closed and has threatened to close the entire border. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

“This weekend, women and children flooding the border to ask for help instead received tear gas. This is needless, cruel, and a violation of our values. And it is the direct result of Donald Trump’s campaign to create fear of immigrants in order to win elections. We must be clear: if Trump’s politics cause lethal force to be used against unarmed refugees with a legal right to be here, there will be consequences for him.

“America has always been a beacon to people across the globe looking for freedom and opportunity. Refugees in particular have always sought out America, often at great risk, when their religion, gender, sexuality, or other expression made their homes too dangerous. And each new wave of immigrants and refugees has made us stronger, growing our economy thanks to people who start more businesses, contribute to innovative new technologies and conduct ground-breaking research. Despite Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric, studies show that refugees also commit fewer crimes than those born here.

“Under current law, a refugee can request asylum no matter where they enter the country. And once here, they have a legal right to a hearing. Instead, purely inspired by his own bigotry, Donald Trump is trying to circumvent our laws in order to treat the most vulnerable as dangerous criminals. General John Kelly has repeatedly condescended to Congress that if we don’t approve of the way this administration enforces the law, then we should change the law. Here, the law is clear and this administration chooses to ignore it.

“These immigrants and refugees are not a threat to our country. In fact, in their perseverance to find a better life here against difficult odds and an unwelcoming President, they are exhibiting a faith in America and a support for our values shared by other past-aspiring Americans. We need the labor, entrepreneurism, culture, and contribution of every immigrant – it is what has  built this country. Mobilizing our military, allowing lethal force, and shutting down borders in response to those who just want a chance to live and work here is cowardly.

“The American people just had the chance to weigh in on Trump’s agenda, and the result was clear. The days of his bigotry, violence, and factual distortions going unchecked are coming to an end.”