Latino victim of human trafficking asks Trump "greater understanding of migration"

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  • Tue, 02/05/2019 - 19:05
  • EFE

A Latin victim of human trafficking who will attend today's State of the Union speech by President Donald Trump proclaimed a "greater understanding towards immigrants" who come to the country in search of a better future.

"You should think better about the policies you are implementing and their consequences, it is dangerous for immigrants and Americans: the country has a rich history of immigration", Brazilian Valdir Solera said today in an interview with Efe.

Solera has been invited by the Democratic senator from Hawaii, Brian Schatz, to attend the second speech of the State of the Union that Trump will offer tonight before the Congress.

According to the White House, Trump will highlight five points in his speech: ending illegal immigration; trade agreements (including China and the T-MEC); increase spending on infrastructure; lower the cost of access to healthcare; and military and diplomatic efforts abroad.

The Brazilian activist said he was "very honored" to be able to represent the Latino community of his state on the Capitol today, as well as the fight for their rights as immigrants.

According to Solera, the Latino population already represents 6% of the total population of Hawaii, above native Hawaiians, after its presence has grown exponentially in recent years.

However, Solera argued that the migration policies of the Trump Administration "have affected the undocumented community" in Hawaii and "have increased the number of arrests by 40%" in that archipelago of the Pacific Ocean.

"This is not the identity of the United States, when we immigrants come here we believe that it is a country where we can have freedom and make our dreams come true", insisted to Efe Solera, who arrived in Hawaii in 2013.

The native of Sao Paulo (Brazil) was that year a victim of a human trafficking scam that led him to be in the United States irregularly until he managed to process his T visa, aimed at people harmed by human trafficking.

Since then he has not been able to return to his country "because he was afraid" to the reaction of the fraudsters, who have been denounced and now face prison sentences.

After regularization in the country, Solera, a biologist by profession, joined the Hawaii Wildlife Visa Fund (HWF), where he works to protect endangered species of animals and plants.

"I am very concerned about Trump's environmental policies", said Solera, who criticized that one of the president's first decisions was to withdraw the United States as a member of the Paris Agreement.

Trump has denied the existence of climate change repeatedly since his arrival in the White House and during his election campaign and has even said that it is an "invention" of China.

"The Paris Agreement is especially important in the state of Hawaii to maintain biodiversity", said Solera.

The State of the Union speech on Tuesday will also be attended by Victorina Morales, the Guatemalan undocumented cleaner who revealed that she worked for the Trump golf club, and the Guatemalan Albertina Contreras and her daughter Yakelin García, separated on the border with Mexico last year, among others. 


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