SPLC statement on the 116th Congress

The challenges facing the 116th Congress are great, and none are greater than the role of the White House in exacerbating racism and extremism in nearly every facet of American life.

The president and his administration have emboldened white supremacists and embraced policy after policy targeting the poor, the marginalized and communities of color.  

The Congress sworn in today must move swiftly and aggressively to investigate the resurgent white supremacist movement in order to take steps to check the rising influence of extremist groups in American life. We must stop the Trump deportation machine, end family separation and anti-immigrant policies, and counter the Trump administration rollback of civil rights protections.

Congress must also recognize American democracy is under attack from abroad and within. Legislation to repair and strengthen voting rights across the country is essential, and our political leaders must work to ensure a census count in 2020 that is accurate, respects immigrants, and ensures federal dollars and representation are apportioned fairly. 

There is an urgent need for compassionate and thoughtful leadership at this volatile time in our nation’s history. The new Congress must be up to the challenge. This is as perilous a political climate as seen in living memory.