NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio: ‘Immigrants Didn’t Do That to You, the Big Corporations Did That to You’

Melanie Arter | June 26, 2019 | 11:14pm EDT
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

( - Americans have been told that immigrants created their misery, when “big corporations” and “the one percent” are to blame, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Fla.

DeBlasio interjected as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) talked about ICE ripping children away from their parents.


“Folks should understand that separation of children from families doesn’t just go on at our border. It happens in our communities as ICE are ripping away parents from their American children, spouses and the like and are creating fear in cities all across this country where parents are afraid to even drop their kids off at school or go to work. We must end those policies as well,” Booker said.

“We have to change the discussion about immigration in this country, because look at the bottom line here. .. That tragic photo of that parent, that child - and I’m saying this as a father - every American should feel that in their heart, and every American should say that is not America,” de Blasio said, referring to migrant Oscar Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria, who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande River.

“Those are not our values, but we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we’re not being honest about the division that’s been fomented in this country, the way that Americans citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges,” the mayor said.

“For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind or feel the American dream’s not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you. The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you,” he said.

“We need to be a party of working people, and that includes a party of immigrants, but first we have to tell working people in America who are hurting that we are going to be on their side every single time against those big corporations who created this mess to begin with and remind people we’re all in this together,” de Blasio said.

“If we don’t change that debate, that politics that’s holding us back, we won’t get all these reforms people are talking about. That’s what we need to do as Democrats,” he added.


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