Horrific violence fueled by racist rhetoric, irresponsible gun laws, and dehumanizing policies toward immigrants

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

Horrific violence fueled by racist rhetoric, irresponsible gun laws, and dehumanizing policies toward immigrants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amy Shannon: ashannon@alianzaamericas.org
Yancy Nuñez: ynunez@alianzaamericas.org

Alianza Americas calls on policymakers to stand up and take action to roll back the tide of racist and hate-filled rhetoric and policies that are being used to justify acts of violence 

Chicago, August 5, 2019  This past weekend, the country was shocked once again by two mass shootings, this time in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These two events take the tally of mass shootings to more than 250 in less than one year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.   Alianza Americas grieves with the families who lost loved ones and for all those who were injured over the weekend.  At the same time, we call on policymakers to own up to their role in enabling the many systemic failures that allowed this tragedy to occur.  

Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas, had the following statement: 

“The time has come for Congress to assume its responsibility to defend human rights and decency.  The hate-filled screed of the El Paso terrorist sounded strikingly similar to one of President Trump’s campaign rallies.  The callous disregard for human lives that this administration has demonstrated, with its actions to end asylum and refugee resettlement and remove temporary humanitarian protections, add fuel to the fires of racists and xenophobes.

First, policymakers should take immediate action on gun control.  The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was never intended to provide cover for racists to shoot innocent people.

Second, members of Congress from both parties must condemn the racist, white supremacist, anti-Mexican rhetoric of Donald Trump and key members of his administration.  From the anti-Mexican slurs of his campaign to the most recent calls to ‘send back’ Congresswomen of color, Mr. Trump’s administration has unleashed a torrent of attacks on immigrants and people of color.  It should not come as a surprise that white racists have latched onto that rhetoric to justify their violent, criminal actions. 

Third, policymakers must take steps to end the inhumane treatment of immigrants and people seeking humanitarian protection. Anyone who is complicit in allowing immigrant families to be seen as less than human is part of the system that emboldens white nationalists. 

We call upon policymakers to immediately end the policies of expedited removals, child incarceration, family separation, and Remain-in-Mexico, and to stop putting people in detention who are seeking asylum.  These policies have long-term and dangerous consequences for all of us and for the soul of our nation. We must also embrace a new generation of people-centered development initiatives able to transform Central American nations into places where people can live in dignity and safety.

Policymakers cannot continue to look the other way. In their silence and inaction, they condone racist violence, and by extension must be held responsible for the consequences.  We will be watching to see what actions our policymakers will take.” 

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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