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Lawrence Mayor: Trump Is 'Trafficking In Pain And Divisiveness'

LAWRENCE (CBS) - On Monday, President Trump visited Manchester, NH and vowed to put an end to the opioid crisis. The president pointed to Lawrence as a primary problem for New Hampshire's opioid epidemic.

Citing a Dartmouth University study, the president said that Lawrence is the source for much of the fentanyl in New Hampshire. He also said that sanctuary cities like Lawrence contribute to the problem by not deporting undocumented immigrants.

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera took exception to the president's comments.

Mayor of Lawrence
Mayor Dan Rivera responds to President Trump's speech (WBZ-TV)

"Shame on the president. He's trafficking in pain and divisiveness, creating boogeymen when we need solutions," Mayor Rivera said. "Come to Lawrence and look at the face of these people. I'm not holding out hope because like his performance in Puerto Rico, he can get on an airplane but I'm not sure he can show an emotional reaction to a real problem."

Mayor Rivera also said that the president's proposed solution of increased prison time for dealers has failed in the past.

"The face of the opioid crisis isn't what he wants it to be," Mayor Rivera said. "Some boogeyman that came across the border that speaks a different language. The boogeyman of this epidemic is in these people's souls who have been hooked on this awful awful drug."

The president also took aim at Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. In a statement, Walsh said it's time to stop painting all undocumented immigrants as criminals.

"The president criminalized both our immigrant community and those suffering from substance abuse all in one speech today," Mayor Walsh said in a statement. "It's time to stop painting all undocumented immigrants as criminals. Our immigrant community makes positive contributions to our city each and every day. And this epidemic is not something we can arrest our way out of--we need actual investments in prevention and treatment programs and policies, not just talk."

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