State Innovation Exchange Issues Statement on President Trump’s Executive Orders on Border Wall, Harsh Immigration Restrictions

January 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, State Innovation Exchange (SiX) Executive Director Nick Rathod released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive orders to build a wall along the United States-Mexico border and impose harsh restrictions on immigration:

“Nearly fifty years ago, my parents arrived in the United States as immigrants. They did not have much money, many friends, or family here when they arrived. But what they did have was their faith in God and their hope in the American dream. Their faith inspired my father to become a Methodist minister—serving the people of rural Nebraska. To this day, my parents still visit the sick in hospitals, counsel families who have lost loved ones, preside over marriage ceremonies, and much more. Their hope in the American dream allowed them to believe that even if English was not their first language, and the color of their skin was a shade darker than most in their community, that if they worked hard and played by the rules they could make a better life for my siblings and me.

“President Trump’s announcement today ordering the construction of a wall along our southern border, restricting people of a particular faith from entering our country, and turning away refugees from our shores is a complete rejection of these ideals of faith and hope in America’s promise that once drew my family and millions of others to this nation. It is a rejection of the values that have brought Americans together since our country’s inception. And it is a rejection of everything that the majority of Americans—from the reddest to the bluest of states—believe our nation to be.

“We are better than this. I promise with every ounce of my being, and every last resource we have, that the staff of the State Innovation Exchange and I will work with the thousands of elected officials in our network—in every state across this country—against this vision of America. It is not who we are, and just like my parents instilled in me a deep sense of patriotism for a country that welcomed us and valued our faith, I intend to preserve that promise for my own children and for the millions of others like them across our nation.”