By Frank Sharry
The announcement this week, from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that most asylum seekers fleeing domestic and gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum protection in the U.S. is another in a string of cruel immigration announcements by the Trump Administration.
AG Sessions also announced a new push to denaturalize citizens suspected of naturalization irregularities – a previously rare process that was mostly reserved for war criminals and not everyday citizens. But in the hands of this administration, we have no such illusions.
We once called our nation a shining city on the hill that provided refuge to the oppressed. No longer.
It’s up to all of us to stand up and say: not in our name; this must stop; now.
We now are a country that is purposefully condemning countless thousands of women and children to violence and death. We are now a country that is purposefully turning our backs on our country’s tradition of as a beacon of hope for people around the world. We are now a country that purposefully rips toddlers from the arms of their parents.
We are now a country that tells refugees – women fleeing violent abuse, young people fleeing murderous gangs, and people fleeing terrorist groups – to go to hell and die there.
And for what reason? None of this keeps us safer, strengthens our economy or rebuilds our communities. None of this reflects the values we hold dear. None of this is true to the American creed. This is gratuitous cruelty. This is radical and extreme. This is evil.
There should be no more mistaking or explaining away what we are witnessing and what we are living through. It’s up to all of us to stand up and say: not in our name; this must stop; now.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund.