Trump touts low black unemployment, criminal justice reform on anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Trump touts low black unemployment, criminal justice reform on anniversary of Civil Rights Act
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE recognized the 55-year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 being signed into law on Tuesday, noting his own administration's passage of criminal justice reform and efforts to improve economic opportunities for minorities.

Trump issued a presidential message commemorating then-President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the landmark legislation, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sex.

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"Today, we celebrate this monumental legislation and recommit ourselves to the noble mission of advancing equality, justice, and freedom," the president said.

"As we commemorate this historic milestone, my Administration continues to work to ensure that all Americans have an equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream," he added.

Trump credited his economic policies with lowering unemployment rates for African Americans and other minority groups. The president frequently cites economic indicators as evidence his administration has benefited African Americans, Hispanics and other minority groups.

He also highlighted the passage of the First Step Act, a bill signed into law last year that reduces mandatory minimum sentences in certain instances, offers resources for former inmates seeking employment and expands on "good time credits" for well-behaved prisoners looking for shorter sentences. 

Trump has drawn scrutiny from civil rights groups for, among other things, rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community, for referring to migrants seeking entry into the U.S. as criminals and for describing Haiti and some African nations as "shithole countries."