Posted on January 18, 2019 in Press Releases


January 18, 2019

CONTACT: Ryan J. Suto 

(202) 652-4984

Statement from AAI Executive Director Maya Berry

Washington, DC — Today, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry released the following statement in response to messaging from President Trump:

"This morning the President of the United States tweeted that a rancher found “prayer rugs” along the nation’s border with Mexico, claiming that many people are “coming across… from many countries.” This comment echoes the President’s claim from October that “people from the Middle East” have been apprehended at the border by U.S. officials, a claim he himself later noted was without evidence. As we approach another anniversary of the President’s Muslim and Refugee Ban, these are yet additional examples of this administration’s bigotry. 
The President has repeatedly used anti-Arab and anti-Muslim rhetoric to bolster support for bigoted immigration policy proposals, such as building a wall along the southern border, itself born from a manufactured crisis and nativist fears of increased migration from Mexico and Latin America. Today’s comment attempts to compound various strains of xenophobia in support of anti-immigrant policies, which will ultimately fail.
The country needs a functioning federal government with an effective immigration system that is free of bigotry and racism. We urge the President to focus on that goal instead of hateful and ignorant tweets."

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