Amid President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration stances that include erecting a wall between the US-Mexico border and cutting billions of dollars in federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities”, New York City among them, Bronx Democratic officials from all levels of government blasted the new policies as a show of unity against the Trump administration.
“[N]o other borough, no other county in the state of New York will suffer more from these cuts than the borough of the Bronx,” Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, flanked by a cadre of Hispanic legislators at a news conference at Borough Hall.
Diaz noted that Mr. Trump’s policies have stoked worries among undocumented immigrants, having noticed an uptick of complaints his office’s official Facebook and Twitter have received. “When I go out to the streets there’s a high level of anxiety,” Diaz told the Norwood News shortly after the news conference. “What I’m telling people is we cannot continue to agonize, we need to organize.”
Among is Bronx Councilwoman and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who attended a rally in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park, and saying at a separate news conference said “I don’t have time for fear. I want to defy, resist, and stand up.”
On the federal level, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, representing Norwood in the 13th Congressional District and the first Dominican-born legislator in the House of Representatives, said he’s since reached out to Republican members in Congress to convince them to oppose Mr. Trump’s strong stance on immigration.
“Some of them are not necessarily for this, and so we will have to wait to see how this plays out because some of them are not necessarily as deeply rooted against this,” Espaillat told the Norwood News. “The best approach is to confront him, and to oppose, and to bring him to the table, drag him to the table.”
The Bronx is home to 250,000 undocumented workers, with the bulk originating from Latin America. The figure represents 50 percent of the total number of undocumented immigrants, which stands at roughly half million.
Mr. Trump has threatened to cut $8 billion in funding for New York City, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who has been severely critical of the president. De Blasio warned that loss of funding can severely compromise security at Trump Tower, where First Lady Melania Trump and her son Barron are staying for the next few months.
Though he has remained a major critic of de Blasio, Diaz stood in agreement with the mayor saying “now is the time to come together despite our political differences.”