January 25, 2018

(Los Angeles, CA) - Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement today in response to the Trump administration's outline of proposed legislation on immigration:

"The immigration 'proposal' released by the White House today has no place in the House or the Senate, which should continue working toward a reasonable bipartisan bill to protect the immigrant youth harmed by Donald Trump’s unsupportable decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Instead of Congress, the appropriate place for the Stephen Miller/John Kelly ‘proposal’ is in the solid gold toilet recently offered as a loaner to the Trump White House by the Guggenheim. Fortunately, the solid gold throne is fully functional, so the Miller/Kelly plan can be swiftly dispatched to the nativist/white nationalist sewer where it rightly belongs.

Apparently, Miller and Kelly believe the American people will sell out their values on the cheap, accepting a broadly expansive militarization of our nation, with more and more roving agents sweeping across communities to remove millions and millions of peaceful immigrants who have built families and community connections, who have expanded our economy and preserved critical sectors like agriculture, and who have lived without full rights to avoid horrific economic and political conditions in their countries of origin. Miller and Kelly believe that the American people will pay for a $25 billion trust fund for a wall that Donald Trump promised would be paid for by others. Miller and Kelly believe that the American people will abandon our tremendously successful history as an immigrant nation simply because Donald Trump thinks we aren’t admitting enough Norwegian immigrants.

Miller and Kelly are wrong – morally, politically, and as a matter of sound public policy.

Miller and Kelly seem to think that an essential element of achieving their boss’ campaign slogan is to revive the Know-Nothing Party, the 19th century nativist political party active in antebellum America. They must surely conceive of a third party because their immigration ‘proposal’ is radically inconsistent with the long-term views of both our major political parties and of the overwhelming majority of the American people.

You cannot be a genius if you act like a Know-Nothing. Legislators from both parties should reject the Miller-Kelly excrement and move forward with legislation that demonstrates real leadership."

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund