Krista McNallyMay 22, 2018, 4:28 pmMay 23, 2018, 1:24 pm

‘Your rhetoric is not welcome here’: Immigrant advocates protest Trump visit

Make The Road NY urges politicians not to attend the president’s roundtable on gang violence


MINEOLA — Members of Make the Road New York is calling on local politicians to decline President Donald Trump’s invitation to a roundtable on gang violence during his visit to Long Island.

"We are here to denounce Donald Trump coming to the region where he is widely expected to score political points off a local tragedy," said Make the Road New York organizer Walter Barrientos.

Long Islanders from Make the Road New York gathered on the steps of the Nassau County Legislators Building Tuesday to send a message to President Trump that he is not welcome because they believe he creates divisiveness.

"Long Island, one of the most segregated suburbs, will not allow you to continue to divide us. Tomorrow, Jews and Muslims, citizens and non-citizens, will come together to say you are not welcomed here. Your rhetoric is not welcome here," said Sergio Argueta, founder and board president of Strong Youth LI.

The group is urging all local representatives not to attend because they say any engagement with President Trump and his policies is negative engagement.

"We are asking our county executive and our police commissioners not to engage with this president," Barrientos said.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced she will be going: “I have accepted an invitation from the White House to attend a roundtable on the topic of gang violence hosted by President Trump, which underscores the need for more funding and improved strategies in fighting gang violence. It is a unique opportunity to directly seek more federal funds and assistance for law enforcement to combat gangs and gain resources for community groups to keep our youth from joining gangs."

"If you cannot stand with our immigrant communities, we will not stand with you in November," proclaimed Mimi Pierre-Johnson of the Elmont Cultural Center.

Make the Road NY will be in Bethpage on Wednesday to protest the president's visit.

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