These Democrats Aren't Happy About Trump's N.J. Visit

NJ.com — May 19, 2016

By Brent Johnson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — A coalition of Democratic state lawmakers — including state Senate President Stephen Sweeney — and a pair of advocacy groups are condemning Donald Trump's visit to New Jersey on Thursday.

The group said Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, is bringing intolerance to a diverse state as he appears at a private fundraiser for the state GOP and hosts a rally in Lawrenceville with Gov. Chris Christie, a fellow Republican and ally.

Sweeney (D-Gloucester), state Sens. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), and Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden) joined the Latino Action Network and the NAACP in the opposition.

"In words and deeds, Trump is instigating intolerance and division," Sweeney, a likely Democratic candidate for governor next year, said in a statement. "New Jersey's greatest strength and asset is our diversity, our sense of inclusion as we live and understand that immigration is the foundation of our state and nation."

Trump has drawn controversy for saying the U.S. should build a wall across its Mexican border to stem illegal immigration and that it should institute a temporary ban on Muslims to protect against possible terrorism.

New Jersey is home to 1.5 million Latinos — or 18 percent of the state's nearly 9 million people, making them the largest minority group in the state. Muslims make up 2 percent of the state — the second-largest Muslim population in the U.S.

Pou said "Trump's policies, politics, and divisive rhetoric are not welcome here in New Jersey, where we take pride in the value of our diversity."

"We are a better state because of the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity and we are a better people when we promote social and economic justice for everyone," she said.

Meanwhile, a group of residents, students, teachers, environmentalists, union members, and progressive activists are hosting a protest at a park across the street from the Lawrenceville National Guard Armory where Trump and Christie are appearing together at the 7 p.m. rally.

The protest will include officials from New Jersey Citizen Action, the New Jersey Sierra Club, the New Jersey ATU State Council, the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, and the Wholesale and Department Store Union, among others.

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