Leave it to former President Obama to address the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border on such an appropriate day. Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day — an international event meant to draw attention to the global refugee crisis.
He took to Facebook to offer a sharp criticism of the Trump administration's family separation policy at the border, encouraging more empathy and asking a few simple, but vital questions.
"Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?” he wrote on Facebook Wednedsay. "Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?"
He reminded Americans of their privilege — saying we've been "fortunate enough" to have been born in the States and to try putting yourself in migrants' shoes.
"Imagine if you’d been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children," he wrote, which is the reality of many of the migrants coming here. "A place where you finally found yourself so desperate to flee persecution, violence, and suffering that you’d be willing to travel thousands of miles under cover of darkness, enduring dangerous conditions, propelled forward by that very human impulse to create for our kids a better life."
He then emphasized what it means to be American — something many people seem to have forgotten lately.
"To be an American is to have a shared commitment to an ideal—that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve the chance to become something better," our former prez reminded readers. "That’s the legacy our parents and grandparents and generations before created for us, and it’s something we have to protect for the generations to come."
Protests have swept the nation in attempt to end Trump's zero-tolerance policy, which tears families apart at the border. Parents entering the country illegally are sent to lockup, while their children are basically put into cages in internment camps. And no, this policy was not in place when Obama was in office.
Many prominent people have spoken out against the policy, including the five living First Ladies.
President Obama retweeted former FLOTUS Michelle Obama's message, "Sometimes truth transcends party," but this is the first time he's weighed in on the policy himself. But more than just speaking out, Obama called for doing more than saying, "This isn't who we are."
"We have to prove it—through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes," he emphasized.
Read Barack Obama's full statement below.
Shortly after Obama's statement, President Trump decided to reverse his ridiculous argument that he had "no authority" to stop the family separations by signing an executive order to keep parents and kids together. It was most definitely due to the pressure across the political spectrum, but whether or not he decided this before or after our former president's statement is debatable.