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“…I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve reached this point. It’s an embarrassment to the United States…”

Early yesterday afternoon in Kansas City Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) held an immigration town hall at the Manual Career and Technical Center.

Representative Cleaver met with the media before the start of the town hall.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) - February 4, 2017 - Kansas City.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) – February 4, 2017 – Kansas City.

Representative Cleaver’s statement:

The transcript:

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D): Well, amid, uh, all of the confusion that, uh, we have seen, not only across the United States, but across the world, uh, over the last, uh, seven days, uh, has prompted me to, uh, bring together, uh, people who are involved with, uh, DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] as well as refugees, uh, to provide the ultimate amount of information they need, uh, so that we can begin to make the wolf appear a little smaller. Uh, the problem is that, uh, the wolf right now, understandably, uh, is about ten to twelve feet tall. And we can’t have a wholesome community with people living in fear, as they are. Uh, but the need for this meeting grew out of a, our regular meeting of the, uh, BBC, the Black Brown Coalition. Uh, Gilbert Herrera, who, uh, died just two days ago is the person who brought the necessity for this, uh, gathering, uh, to us. And so, uh, we understand, uh, that, uh, there have been a number of court decisions, including the big one last night which essentially, uh, has halted everything, uh, will, will at least temporarily bring some comfort. But, the truth of the matter is, uh, until the Supreme Court eventually rules on, on these matters people, uh, are going to continue to be concerned because some of the, uh, court orders will be halted and others will, uh, be brought into play. So, we are in a, in a state of disarray, uh, judicially in this country right now. Not to mention the fact that people are scared. And we have young, uh, people who did not, uh, come into this country, uh, illegally. They were brought in as children and they deserve a right, uh, I think to, uh, live peacefully in this country. They know no other country. There is no other home for them but the United States. And President Obama’s, uh, DACA, uh, executive order provided them with the first comfort they’ve ever had. And, uh, we intend to, uh, bring all of the experts here today to answer questions that they may have. My colleague, uh, from Congress who has been a leader, uh, in this, uh, movement, uh, is, is going to talk with the crowd, uh, via, uh, Skype, uh, today. Uh, and we intend to answer just about any and all questions that, that come before us. I will, I will stop and respond to any of your questions by just saying, uh, you can’t make America great by using stumbling blocks. You make America great by making, uh, this country available to a wide variety of people because, uh, it is accumulation of all these cultures and of the, the new ideas that come into this country as a result of, um, immigration that, that causes us to be the great nation that we are. So, uh, I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve reached this point. It’s an embarrassment to the United States. It’s an embarrassment that members of the House of Representatives all last week had to go around apologizing to leaders of other countries including, uh, Angela Merkel of Germany, uh, as well as, uh, as Theresa May in England, Trudeau in Canada. Uh, this is just not one of the proud moments, uh, for our country. Uh, and I think we, uh, will, will deal with the problems as they come. They just seem to be coming now, uh, as an avalanche.