STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER WILLIAMS 

“Trump’s continued assault on immigrants is deeply troubling and continues to further divide this country. His new Muslim ban will translate into the unwarranted and unconstitutional profiling of people because of their ethnicity and race. This new xenophobic version of his executive order does nothing to comfort immigrant communities. It is just another signal to organize and resist his divisive policies and rhetoric.

“In addition, to create an office such as Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) takes that division a step further.  By creating a government bureau as a propaganda machine to further a climate of fear, we can then allow horrible things to happen to human beings and families. This is from a playbook we’ve seen before, and it is terrifying to watch so many acquiesce.  Suggesting that a crime committed by an undocumented immigrant deserves its own bureau or division is an affront to all victims in this country. It unfairly compares loss and pain, by placing victims in different categories based more on who the assailant was than helping to deal with the pain and developing real solutions to actual crises.

“From 2004 to 2013 data shows that 313 Americans died from terrorism. Real people and families, but, during the same time period, 316,545 Americans were killed by gun violence. Yet no concrete solutions or real outrage has been offered to deal with around gun proliferation. Toddlers kill a person weekly with unsecured guns in this country, far outpacing other threats. Yet something as basic as a mandated lock box in homes with children still faces fierce opposition. Something as simple as allowing the CDC to just study the problem is still not allowed.  All while statistics show guns are likely the biggest threat to an American today.

“Terrorism and crime, of course, is a real threat that should not be ignored and taken for granted. Still, the question is why some fully ignore addressing a very real pandemic of epic proportions like gun violence, preferring instead to manufacturing a real concern to a full blown crisis.

“The honest answer is bigotry and prejudice. If we are honest, we all have some. The best in ourselves allows us to work to check those prejudices and recognize humanity. There are times when leaders exploit our prejudices and create an atmosphere for it to run unabated. We are in such a time and Donald Trump is such a leader.

“Thankfully history despises those moments.”