The Bronx, NY - Today, in response to 11 people being detained at John F. Kennedy International airport in New York and other nations taking potentially irreversible action following the President’s Executive Action placing a 120 day moratorium on the admittance of refugees and halting the entrance of visitors from seven muslim majority countries, New York State Assembly Member and Candidate for DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake released the following statement:
“President Trump's racist, xenophobic and immoral Executive actions are already having severely damaging physical, mental, emotional and policy impact in our country and across the world. 11 people have been detained at J.F.K. airport as he continues to show his willful disdain for people who simply wish to pursue the American dream. By constructing religious screening prioritizing christians over muslims, he has empowered crisis in other regions of the world and sent a clear signal to the world that America values one faith over another, which I soundly reject. We cannot sit idly by as people who are law abiding, including at least one who helped keep Americans safe, are denied justice because of their faith, skin color or nationality. This is a historical pattern that we should have learned from after banning jewish immigrants at the height of the holocaust.
The President's insistence of tearing and keeping families apart, including lawful permanent residents, is un-American in principal and un-constitutional in practice. It is both immoral and ineffective, as none of the so-called “terror prone countries” were countries of origin for the September 11th attackers. With these actions, we also risk severing relations with foreign governments, as seen in Iran’s response of banning US citizens.
I applaud the people and local leaders standing up for the rights of others and demanding the release of those held at JFK. We as Americans, we as Democrats, must absolutely denounce this Muslim ban and all actions to discriminate and denigrate people. As a nation, we take pride in our diversity and our constitutional right to religious freedom. As the son of immigrants, I ran for office to stand up for those who may not have a voice and are afraid to stand up in the face of injustice and oppression. I now represent the most diverse county in America and will continue to fight for those most at risk. If we do not learn from our history, we are bound to repeat it, the effects of which would be utterly devastating, and I refuse to sit by silently while this President's actions try to destroy the fabric of this country. As leaders we look to examples like U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand voting against every Trump nominee to stand courageous and fight for what is right."