Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the ongoing separation of families at the southern border with a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday.
“If you’ve been fortunate enough to have been born in America, imagine for a moment if circumstance had placed you somewhere else,” Obama wrote, framing his comments around World Refugee Day. “Imagine if you’d been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children.”
From there, Obama commented directly on his successor’s latest policy at the southern border:
That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: 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? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?
“After all, almost all of us were strangers once, too,” he wrote.
Citing waves of immigration from around the world throughout American history, Obama added that “we’re only here because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, how our last names sound, or the way we worship.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama had previously praised an op-ed penned by fellow former first lady Laura Bush, calling for an end to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy:
Sometimes truth transcends party. https://t.co/TeFM7NmNzU
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 18, 2018
Notably, former President Obama rejected an oft-heard refrain from some of President Donald Trump’s critics.
“But we have to do more than say ‘this isn’t who we are,'” he wrote in closing. “We have to prove it — through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.”