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  • Rep. Deb Haaland

    Rep. Deb Haaland | Photo: Prensa Latina

Published 22 July 2019
Opinion

Those laying exclusive claim to the American dream lack a clear understanding of this country's history.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his followers lack authority to tell anyone to leave this country because they are not indigenous to this land, according to a US congresswoman.

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In an opinion piece published on Monday in The New York Times, Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico condemned Trump´s last week words who recently told four Congresswomen to go back to where they came from.

She pointed out that Mr. Trump also has somewhere to go back to as well because he is a second-generation American. 'For Native Americans like myself, his comments are perplexing and wrongheaded.' 

According to Haaland, if anyone can say go back, it is Native Americans. My Pueblo ancestors, despite being targeted at every juncture despite facing famine and drought still inhabit this country today.

But indigenous people aren't asking anyone to go back to where they came from, she remarked, who described as 'chilling, hate-filled chants' the cries of 'send her back' against a Somalia-born Congresswoman and nationalized in the U.S. during a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina.

She affirmed that for thousands of years, the Pueblo people have inhabited this continent. 'Without their knowledge, experience and intelligence across this country, many Europeans would not have survived their first winter.' 

The resilience of our communities and our drive to protect our culture is the reason we believe that everyone has the right to be here, added Haaland, who this year became one of the first two Native Americans to reach Congress.

The fact that the president claims this country as his own and wants to keep everyone in their place proves that he does not understand his place, she said.

Those laying exclusive claim to the American dream lack a clear understanding of this country's history. The tenets of my cultural teachings are rooted in our commitment to lift up every community member so that no one is left behind, she added.

According to Haaland, this administration's policies are reminiscent of the darkest days of our history: when the government took Native American children from their parents and put them in boarding schools and forced Japanese immigrants into internment camps.

Racism and bigotry should never fuel any administration´s policies. Calls to send anyone back contradict who we should be as a country and the ideals for which we stand.

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