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Press Release - Inhumane, Outrageous, and Un-American:" Vice President Harris Calls Out Recent Efforts by Extremists to Attack Immigrants

July 25, 2023

"Across our nation, extremist so-called leaders demonize, target, and attack immigrants," said the Vice President during today's keynote address at UnidosUS' annual conference in Chicago

CHICAGO – Yesterday, Vice President Kamala Harris called out extremists across the country for their "inhumane, outrageous, and un-American" efforts to attack immigrants. In a keynote speech to thousands of attendees at UnidosUS' annual conference, the Vice President specifically responded to the passage of SB 1718 by extremists in Florida, and reports that state authorities in Texas told troopers to deny water to migrants and push children and pregnant women who are seeking asylum back into the Rio Grande.

"Across our nation, extremist so-called leaders demonize, target, and attack immigrants," said Vice President Harris. "In Florida, they just passed SB 1718, a law designed to make people live in fear – a law that makes people afraid to even receive care at a hospital because they fear they will be asked about their immigration status and worry they could be separated from their families and be deported. In Texas, we see reports that authorities have pushed children and pregnant women who crossed the Rio Grande back into the river – people who refuse to provide water to other human beings who are in deadly 100-degree heat. Inhumane, outrageous, and un-American."

The Vice President also highlighted the power of coalition building while outlining the Biden-Harris Administration's record of delivering for Americans by creating 13 million new jobs, investing in small businesses, lowering prescription drug prices, passing gun safety legislation, and fighting to protect Dreamers, individuals with TPS, and farmworkers. Today's conference was Vice President Harris' most recent large-scale event in a blitz of summer travel to reach constituencies across the country. Later this month, she will address The NAACP National Convention in Boston, The African Methodist Episcopal Church Women's Missionary Society Quadrennial Convention in Orlando, and Everytown's Gun Sense University in Chicago.

Here are additional excerpts from today's speech:

Vice President Harris on creating jobs and investing in small businesses:
"Since President Biden and I took office, we have created 13 million new jobs including 800,000 new manufacturing jobs, Latino unemployment reached the lowest level on record, and we invested billions in community banks – a passion of mine – to make sure that we provide access to capital for our small businesses. And as a result of that work, we've seen more small businesses created in the last two years than in any other two-year period in history – growth, by the way, that is being led by Latinas, who are the fastest growing group of small business owners in America."

Vice President Harris on lowering prescription drug costs:
"Before the President and I took office, our seniors had to make the impossible decision between either putting food on the table or filling their prescription. And, as we know, Latinos are 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. So President Biden and I capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for our seniors and we finally gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. Many said it couldn't be done – we did it."

Vice President Harris on fighting for immigration reform:
"On our first day in office, the first bill President Biden introduced was for immigration reform. And while we will fight to support immigrants and to protect DACA recipients, there is no substitute for action by Congress. Congress must create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, individuals with Temporary Protected Status, and for farmworkers."

Vice President Harris on America's epidemic of gun violence:
"A heartbreaking one in five Americans has lost a family member to gun violence, and the number one cause of death for our children is gun violence. And they simply refuse to pass reasonable gun safety laws to keep our children safe. And while this violence, of course, impacts all communities, we also know it does not do so equally when Latino Americans are twice as likely to be victims of gun homicides."

Vice President Harris on the power of coalition building:
"The power of Unidos is the power of the coalition, recognizing that diversity in our nation is not a weakness or an afterthought, but instead our greatest strength – that we all have so much more in common than what separates us. And that when we as a society come together, work together, fight in common cause for fundamental values, it is our patriotism that fuels us."

Kamala Harris, Press Release - Inhumane, Outrageous, and Un-American:" Vice President Harris Calls Out Recent Efforts by Extremists to Attack Immigrants Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/363754

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