Today’s our nation’s birthday, a day to celebrate the ideals and values we strive for, together. Right now, I can’t get my mind off of something profoundly inhumane happening at our border.
Yesterday, I witnessed the impact our broken immigration system has on those we should be protecting. At the request of immigrant rights groups Families Belong Together and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, I crossed into Ciudad de Juárez, Mexico, to help five women present themselves for asylum. I pray that they are allowed to stay in the United States. Some of these women had been turned away on previous attempts to cross, and the groups informed me that a senator escorting asylum seekers is the best chance they have to be allowed to make their case to immigration officials.
That’s our absurd reality — we must instead be a nation that welcomes those seeking refuge from violence.
During our time together, I got to know these women through the stories they shared.
One of them described the month she spent in detention. While there, she said the entire detention center had to stand in the sun all day without food, just water — but sometimes they ran out of water too.
Another — I can’t share her name out of concern for her safety — had to leave her home under threat of rape. She was so hungry while in detention that she said they ate the peel of an orange.
A third woman has bruises all over her back from sleeping on the hard floor of the detention center. She wasn’t able to shower for over 20 days and has rashes on her skin from the lack of sanitation. While in the detention center, she became sick. Despite the fact that the doctor wanted her to go to the hospital, the border patrol refused. She was put in isolation and thought she would die.
These stories are profoundly alarming, but my words can’t begin to capture the pain. Their very human dignity is under assault, and it’s being done in our name.
This crisis was created by the Trump Administration’s deliberately cruel, inhumane policies. These policies target already vulnerable people and put them at risk of even more danger.
It goes without saying that it’s wrong, immoral, and in direct conflict with our ideals. When I’m president, I won’t wait to fix our immigration policies — on Day One, I’ll take executive action to end the Trump Administration’s border policies, including closing the camps holding thousands of human beings in inhumane conditions.
But those actions in January 2021 won’t do much to help the thousands of people who need relief right now. People, including children, are dying in these inhumane conditions — and we can’t wait to act. In thanks to Families Belong Together and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center for the chance to witness the crisis at our border firsthand, I’d like to give back. So join me — support some of the amazing organizations doing the work to help immigrants right now. Make a donation to be split among Families Belong Together, Immigration Equality, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, UndocuBlack Network, and Women’s Refugee Commission. 100% of your donation will go directly toward these groups and the vital work they do.
I know today President Trump is planning a big celebration wasting and misusing taxpayer dollars and military resources on what has become a political rally in Washington, D.C.
True patriotism has nothing to do with what he’s planning today. It’s not a taxpayer-funded Trump rally that will define America this July 4th. It must be our actions. And the most patriotic act I can think of right now is to speak out, forcefully, for the people suffering at our border. For the families who’ve been ripped apart or who fear they will be by this administration. For the people fleeing persecution or violence in search of a better life for themselves and their families. What’s more American than that?
Hear me clearly: We will fight with everything we’ve got to end this moral crisis. And we will prevail.
God bless America,
A quick note on this email: this is not an endorsement of Cory Booker for president by any of the groups your donation will be split with. 100% of your contribution will go directly to Families Belong Together, Immigration Equality, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, UndocuBlack Network, and Women’s Refugee Commission.