In the midst of the ongoing government shutdown over an immigration debate, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) told Bold TV that the United States is failing to live up to its creed enshrined on the base of the Statue of Liberty.
“I believe it’s immoral for a nation that asks for us to bring us your poor and your huddled masses yearning to be free to now build up a wall in the 21st century, when, for generations people have come to this nation based on famine, based on war, based on a whole host of other concerns and economic hardships,” Clarke said. “And now in the 21st century, we’re saying ‘Oh we have to build a wall.’ I believe that it flies in the face of everything that this nation has been built upon and that continues to keep it strong.”
“They’re [drugs] also coming from our own U.S. companies,” Clarke continued. “Many of these individuals are taking painkillers. So I don’t think that we can globalize this issue to the extent where we’re saying that there is only one way that the opioid crisis has been dealt with. Most of the fentanyl, most of the other synthetic opioids are actually coming in through the U.S. Postal Service. So what we need to be doing if we want to secure our communities is to provide the type of support and technological advances to really screening all of our ports of entry and giving the type of personnel that’s needed to be able to stem the flow of those opioid and opioid derivatives into our communities. And we can start with our own pharmaceutical companies.”
Clarke said building a border wall would fail to address macroeconomic and security problems driving political instability that encourages migration to the United States.
“Right now the crisis that we’re facing is humanitarian, and one of the challenges for this administration is getting its State Department together so that we can deal with the nations in our hemisphere that are experiencing the type of extreme hardship and extreme violence that drive people out of their communities and looking for safety in the United States of America,” Clarke said. “There are many avenues by which I believe we need to, as a nation, address what is sort of driving these migrations to the United States, and we’ve yet to do any of that. To turn a blind eye by building a wall on the southern border does not change the crisis. It basically just blinds us to it.”
Carrie Sheffield is the founder of Bold. She is passionate about storytelling to empower and connect others. A founding POLITICO reporter, Carrie contributed on political economy at Forbes and wrote editorials for The Washington Times. After earning a master’s in public policy from Harvard University, she managed credit risk at Goldman Sachs and researched for American Enterprise Institute scholar Edward Conard. She earned a B.A. in communications at Brigham Young University and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Berlin.