Skip to content

Watch Hawaii U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono denounce anti-immigrant sentiments

If you take ideas like justice, individual responsibility and the right of people, of families, to make better lives for themselves, then we live in dark times. Right now, not 50 years ago but right now, men in power (and they’re nearly all men) have discovered that denouncing immigrants and refugees, promising to build giant walls at our border with Mexico, demonizing Islam, legitimizing the loathsome and illegal internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and advocating what amounts to endless war in the Middle East, Asia and Africa is popular in the United States. They’ve learned that for many Americans–every single one an immigrant or descendant of an immigrant–the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty…

“Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me

I lift my lamp beside the golden door”

…are just words. Empty, hollow, meaningless words.

Today, as Republican governors and Republican presidential candidates are knocking each other over as they label the thousands of Syrian refugees trying to escape not just ISIS or the brutal regime of Bashar Assad but also the totality of their nation’s long and bloody civil war as “security risks”–a completely baseless slur–U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, D–Hawaii, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate this morning to speak out against this dangerous nonsense.

“Today, politicians—from Presidential candidates to sitting governors—appeal to our nation’s fears in arguing against any meaningful reform of our broken immigration system,” Hirono said today. “Conjuring up shadowy images fuels these fears…Violent gang members from South America. Terrorists from the Middle East… In their divisive rhetoric and in their rush to build walls and close our borders, they neglect the faces of those they demonize. And they forget the facts.”

Read the entire piece at: