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November 1, 2017

The New York Civil Liberties Union responded today to remarks made by President Trump and White House officials in the wake of the attack in Manhattan that killed eight people on Tuesday.

President Trump said he would consider putting the attack suspect, who is from Uzbekistan, in Guantanamo Bay prison and called for the end of a diversity visa program for people from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. The White House also said it would consider adding Uzbekistan to Trump’s Muslim ban and that the suspect will be labeled an “enemy combatant.”

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“This tragedy should not be used as a pretext to undermine rights and liberties or to shut down legal immigration. Our federal court system, with its longstanding traditions of due process, has proven effective in bringing accused terrorists to justice. That is where this case should be handled, not Guantanamo, which makes a mockery of justice.

“New Yorkers reject the president’s attempt to use this attack to further his anti-immigrant agenda. New York City is built on the immigrant experience and defined by immigrant New Yorkers. We will not let this tragedy or the president’s response push us to wall up and abandon our commitment to rights, liberties or our principles.”

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