By Shireen Kahlon
[“What’s your Rep up to” is a blog post to help you decipher the legislation of the Representatives in your Districts. While we do not tell you how to vote, we do want to help you make informed decisions when you vote in November 2018]
On Thursday, June 21, Mayor Steve Adler joined twelve other mayors to visit an immigration detention center in protest of the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. Mayors from across the United States — including the mayors of Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque — went to Tornillo Migrant Facility in Fabens, Texas.
In April of 2018, President Donald Trump began a policy termed the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. This policy states that anyone who crosses the border illegally will be caught and prosecuted. Once detained, the undocumented immigrant may be placed in a detention center while their kids are taken from them and placed in a children's or a “tender age” (for babies and toddlers) detention center.
ADLER’S REMARKS ON THE POLICY
On June 19, Mayor Adler asked, via twitter, for leaders to stand up, regardless of party. Adler also made an appeal to put an end to Trump’s policies.
While visiting the detention center in Fabens, Adler struck back at President Trump for having yet to visit a single detention center to help protect and reunite the children. Last week, Melania Trump visited the Upbring New Hope Children's Center in McAllen, Texas. She announced she’d like to help the reunification of children and parents happen as soon as possible. Additionally, the White House made a statement on her behalf, saying “her goals are to thank law enforcement and social services providers for their hard work, lend support and hear more on how the administration can build upon the already existing efforts to reunite children with their families." But Mayor Adlor wasn’t swayed by these promises. In a statement, he demanded, “Using children in order to deter or dissuade folks from coming to our border and seeking asylum is unjust, it is wrong, it is immoral, and it is un-American. Children don’t belong in cages…with or without their parents.” (Neely)
ADLER’S REMARKS ON IMMIGRATION
The mayor has spoken up in support of immigration on more than one occasion. After President Trump announced the “Travel Ban” — an executive order signed in January 2018 which stated the United States will not allow refugees from 7 primarily Muslim countries including Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, amongst others — Adler spoke in oppositions to the ban. On January 28th, Adler stated that immigrants are a large part of what makes Austin successful and that immigrants are always welcome in Austin. Throughout his term, he has spoken up for immigrants and sided with the Travis County Sheriff on refusing to arrest nonviolent undocumented immigrants.
Adler has also been a strong proponent for sanctuary cities — cities which limit cooperation with federal authorities surrounding immigration. After President Trump wanted to make sanctuary cities illegal or to cut funding to these cities, Adler hit back stating that he “will oppose anti-immigrant policies, regardless of the personal consequences, because spreading fear and making threats makes us all less safe.” (Statement)
Neely, C. (2018, June 21). Austin Mayor Steve Adler on family separation at the border: 'Children don't belong in cages'. Retrieved from https://communityimpact.com/austin/city-county/2018/06/21/ austin-mayor-steve-adler-on-family-separation-at-the-border-children-dont-belong-in-cages/
Guild, Blair. Melania Trump Visits Detention Center in Texas https://www.cbsnews.com/news/melania-trump-visits-detention-center-in-texas/
Statement by Mayor Adler on ICE Director's Threat to Arrest City, State Officials. (2018, January 03). Retrieved from http://www.mayoradler.com/statement-by-mayor-adler-on-ice-directors- threat-to-arrest-city-state-officials/