The separation of children from their parents seeking asylum at U.S. borders is a heinous practice that is antithetical to the American values which I stand for as an elected representative of the 16th Assembly District. As an immigrant to this country myself, it pains me deeply to see children torn from their families. This practice not only causes anguish for families, but jeopardizes the bright futures of the children who it traumatizes. We, as parents and grandparents, must realize that ensuring our families are intact in the face of any obstacle is our foremost obligation. We cannot allow divisive politics to distract us from this goal.
When I came to this country I would have done anything in my power to cross our borders in order to ensure a better life for myself, and my family. America’s position in the world as a beacon of hope and opportunity drove me to this country from Italy, and has inspired me as an Assemblyman to ease the struggles of the diverse body of constituents whom I represent. To punish people driven to this country in the hope of a better life, as I was, jeopardizes the commitment to tolerance we espouse as Americans, and as citizens of the world.
America is strengthened by the premise that all humans are created equal, and that we should serve as an example to other nations in the treatment of those in need. Through the use of this morally abhorrent tactic, this administration has left an indelible stain on its legacy. World Refugee Day is a crucial step in demonstrating our civic obligation to stand up and speak out when we disapprove of the actions of our government, and I applaud both the organizers and the participants in events throughout the state for their efforts.
—New York State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso