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ALBANY _ In a clear attack aimed at Republican candidate for president Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that Americans won’t let politicians “prey on our fears” of immigrants and vowed the soul of America would be preserved.
Without mentioning Trump, the New York billionaire, Cuomo told a gathering of immigrant advocates that in difficult economic times and in times of frequent terrorist attacks like now, some politicians will try to capitalize on fear. He trashed Trump’s ideas of building a wall along the Mexican border to end illegal immigration and to stop immigration of Muslims.
“This is a critical time in this country’s development,” Cuomo said. “This is a moment in time that I believe can shape the soul of this country … because the American people are afraid, make no mistake.”
“That fear can be preyed upon in a political environment,” said Cuomo, a Democrat who has endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.
“We said the exact opposite. We said we believe in the American dream,” Cuomo said. “This state is unique in that it says, ‘You want to build walls, we want to open our arms.’
“By the way, who are you that (you say) this is ‘our land?’” he asked without naming Trump or his supporters. “Who are you, a Navajo? Are you an Apache? Are you a Sioux or a Native American?
“Otherwise, you are an immigrant, too, and don’t forget it!” Cuomo said. He said building walls and closing immigrant based on religion will not be tolerated.
“That’s not who we are, and that’s now who you are going to make us!”