Former President Barack Obama used the occasion of World Refugee Day on Wednesday to come out against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families detained at the US border. His message posted to Facebook was eloquent but unambiguous in its criticism. He argued that empathy for immigrants is a core American value, and he pointed up “the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms.”
“Imagine if you’d been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children,” Obama wrote. “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.
“That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear.”
Read Obama’s full statement below.