(On Friday, the National Peace Corps Association released the following statement in the aftermath of news reports pertaining to President Trump’s Thursday comments on U.S. immigration policy)
Last week, National Peace Corps Association praised President Trump for his excellent nomination for Peace Corps Director. Today, however, we are obliged to take exception to the disparaging remarks apparently made in reference to the countries – and therein the citizens – which our Peace Corps community has embraced and adopted as our second homes.
Since 1961, nearly 90,000 Peace Corps Volunteers served – and continue to serve – nations in Africa. More than 500 served in Haiti, while nearly 2,500 volunteers served in El Salvador. What we know better than most through living and working side-by-side with the people of these countries is that the vast majority of them are overwhelmingly generous, highly resourceful, extremely hardworking and tremendously resilient. At the same time, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers regularly work with immigrant communities from these and other countries, and understand these traits – which are imported to our shores – strengthen the fabric and traditions of the uniquely American melting pot.
As our President and our policymakers conduct important deliberations on our nation’s immigration policies, let us raise up the level of discourse and debate. Let us bring the world home to America’s classrooms, civic groups and communities, doing our part to create a greater understanding of other people on the part of our own.