Washington, DC—Today, President Trump signed executive orders geared at building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and at cracking down on immigration. The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights, opposes these orders.
“The measures put forward today are inhumane, costly, ineffective, and unnecessary,” said Matt Clausen, Executive Director at WOLA. “The threat that millions of families will be separated by deportation, that asylum seekers will not find refuge, and that immigrant rights will not be respected goes against American values. In a nation that is made up of immigrants and their children, rhetoric that stigmatizes entire communities is harmful and offensive,” said Clausen.
Migration is at a 40-year low, a border wall already exists, and the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals or violent offenders. Among those deported in efforts to target migrants with criminal convictions, roughly 80 percent have been people whose only crime was immigration-related (such as illegal entry or re-entry), or who are guilty of nonviolent offenses, like traffic violations. To read more about these issues, please refer to WOLA’s fact sheet on migration and the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The Trump administration keeps repeating that Mexico will pay for the wall—that is highly disrespectful to our neighboring country and the Latino community here. The United States is only alienating itself from the region with actions like these,” said Clausen.