January 12, 2018
by Brian Witte
The Kansas City Star
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ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Some of Maryland’s Democratic state senators condemned President Donald Trump’s comments about immigrants on Friday. One of their Republican colleagues said their comments were out of place.
Sen. Cheryl Kagan, who addressed Trump’s comments on the Senate floor in Annapolis, said nearly a third of Montgomery County’s 1.1 million people come from other countries. The Montgomery County Democrat asked her colleagues to “please join me in condemning the language, the disrespect, the hatred and yes, the racism that we continue to see coming out of this administration.”
“Denouncing whole countries or an entire continent is so remarkably ignorant and despicable,” Kagan said. “The Statue of Liberty says give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses. It doesn’t say, depending on what language they speak or depending on the country that they come from.”
Trump’s comments came during an Oval Office meeting where a participant and people briefed on the conversation say he questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan deal.
Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, criticized the president’s comments.
“The president’s remarks are beyond unacceptable, beneath the office, and unrepresentative of the American people,” Hogan said in an email.
Maryland state Sen. Delores Kelley, a Democrat whose daughter in law was born in Haiti, also rose to address the president’s comments.
“It touched me really personally and I had to have a conversation last night trying to explain to my three granddaughters that their mother is a worthwhile human being,” Kelley said.
Sen. Robert Cassilly, a Harford County Republican, objected to hearing these comments in the chamber, saying they were “not appropriate matter for the Senate of Maryland.”
He said he refrained from criticizing former President Barack Obama “when the last commander in chief, I felt, took actions that directly resulted in the death of police officers.”
“I realize that some people don’t want this president in the White House,” Cassilly said. “I realize some people find him offensive every day, but at some point we’ve got to move beyond that and address the issues that are very serious to the state of Maryland.”