President Trumps alleged comments about Haitian and Nigerian immigrants are not only appalling and disrespectful, but they undermine the principles our leaders are supposed to represent. Were a nation of immigrants. Our strength lies in our diversity. When those in power attack a group of people based on ignorance, they weaken the ties that connect neighbors and friends and build communities. This is not the America that so many of us have worked together to build.
To claim all Haitians have AIDS and imply all Nigerians live in huts represents stereotyping at its absolute worst. Many of these men and women come seeking refuge from natural disasters, devastating poverty and war. They deserve the empathy and tolerance that our nation was founded upon, not the scorn bred from hateful rhetoric.
Being the daughter of Haitian immigrants and a voice for the people of Long Island including immigrants is central to the work I do each day. To dismiss and denigrate immigrants in this way is completely unacceptable from anyone, but when those hateful words come from the leader of our country, it is all the more dangerous. President Trump has repeatedly shown his disregard for immigrant communities earlier this year, he allowed Temporary Protected Status for Haitians to expire. We cant let this troubling pattern continue.