Posted on January 26, 2018 in Press Releases


For Immediate Release: January 26, 2018

Official Statement from AAI Executive Director Maya Berry:

In response to the White House’s release of their framework for immigration reform, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement:

“The White House’s proposal on immigration is not a serious starting point for anyone, except those who seek to take our country back to a dark period in our history. The Trump Administration is attempting to radically redefine America’s immigration system with the gutting of family reunification and our diversity visa program, while increasing enforcement measures and seeking $25 billion of taxpayer money for a nativist border wall we all know to be ineffective and unnecessary. To demand these draconian measures to get to a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers, a group of immigrant youth who have overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and among nearly 90% of our fellow Americans, is wrong and must be rejected. The President seems insistent on catering to a xenophobic fringe who want to take us back to the 1920s, and a time when our immigration laws were openly driven by bigotry. We will not go back to those days. The President created this crisis when he rescinded the DACA program. The President must now work to support congressional passage of a clean DREAM Act, one based on our best traditions, not our worst.

Finally, we have always taken our lead on DACA from those most impacted by the policy, the DREAMers themselves. Brave and resilient immigrant youth have spoken with clarity and conviction. This attempt to pit them against other immigrants is wholly rejected. They are standing up to this bigotry from the White House and we are standing with them.”


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Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit