CREDO and allies shut down Trump’s racist DHS secretary

CREDO and allies shut down Trump's racist DHS secretary
CREDO and allies shut down Trump’s racist DHS secretary

No Trump henchmen should be given a platform to spread hatred or defend the racist, xenophobic policies put into place by Donald Trump and Stephen Miller. Institutions that elevate the architects and enforcers of Trump’s hate and normalize that cruelty can expect to hear from us.

And this week, they heard from us loud and clear. We, activists from CREDO Action, Justice for Muslims Collective, La ColectiVA, National Immigrant Justice Center and Sanctuary DMV, disrupted a controversial keynote speech by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and forced him off the stage at the annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference at Georgetown University Law Center. We dropped banners from the audience reading “Stand with immigrants” and “Hate is not normal,”  while chanting “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Members of the audience joined in, and GULC students also read the names of children who died in Customs and Border Patrol’s custody.

McAleenan is one of Trump’s most cruel henchman. During his time as head of CBP, he unleashed border agents to tear gas refugee families, including children in diapers, at the border. Now, as acting head of DHS, he is not only enforcing, but also championing policies that perpetuate family separation and state-sanctioned child abuse.

Our disruption made headlines across the country, with coverage in the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Associated Press, Telemundo, CBS Evening News, Buzzfeed News, AJ+ and The Young Turks.

This recent disruption comes after CREDO Action organized an open letter urging the ILPC conveners – the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and GULC – to rescind McAleenan’s invitation. MPI and CLINIC refused, citing conference tradition while acknowledging “that this administration has advanced policies that are antithetical to longstanding national ideals and interests.”

The open letter stated: “People like McAleenan who are carrying out and championing [Trump’s and Miller’s] policies should not be treated as if their positions on immigration are reasonable or legitimate in any way. McAleenan is enforcing policies that perpetuate family separation and state-sanctioned child abuse. He has withheld information and intentionally misled Congress about the administration’s systematic circumvention of migrants’ due process rights. No institution should give McAleenan a rubber stamp of approval or megaphone to spread more hate and lies, especially organizations working toward a more compassionate and humane immigration system.”

Thank you to CREDO members who helped make this disruption, and many others, possible. Hundreds of thousands have taken action in opposition to the Trump administration’s cruel, racist and inhumane immigration policies, and support by CREDO members who use our mobile and energy products and services help fund the work we do every day.