CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, June 21, 2018 — No child should ever be forcefully separated from their mother or family—not even for one minute- especially when it is clearly avoidable. The nightmare immigrant children face when seeking asylum is coming to a much-needed end. Although it is still unclear how more than two-thousand children that were separated from their families will be reunited, I am hopeful, given the display of unity and democracy we have experienced over the last few days that this ordeal will soon end.

As a naturalized American citizen, I know that “democracy is not a spectator sport.” The resolve that this country’s citizenry demonstrated to “right a wrong” is what makes this country exceptional. We all know that yesterday’s decision by the Trump administration to reverse its inhumane actions didn’t happen willingly. Millions of Americans simply could not stomach the hypocrisy of this administration and voiced their opinion through a variety of channels. This was an incredible display of democracy. The type of democracy that must persist so that this country can continue as the greatest democracy in the world instead of the current comparison to countries that persecute their citizens and those that seek asylum.

Yes, we do need border security. Yes, we do need to properly vet asylum seekers. Yes, we do need to honor and have respect for the rule of law. Above all, we need to do this in accordance with America’s core values and beliefs: a fair due process, equality, liberty, and tolerance. Let’s not be fooled by the toxic rhetoric against immigrants coming from DC. Immigrants and their children are not the problem. Our broken immigration system is the problem. Immigrants are net contributors, not takers. Immigrants are law abiding citizens, and should not be generalized as evil individuals.

Immigrants, regardless of whether they are refugees, dreamers, undocumented, legal permanent residents, or naturalized citizens have a profound appreciation for the opportunity given to them. Throughout history, the immigrant resolve has brought this country blessings, not nuisances. Immigrants have a strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and add value to the nation’s economic and social fabric.

As we look forward, we must all continue to participate in our democracy and not simply standby as spectators. We need to hold our elected officials accountable and continue building an America that makes everyone proud. This sentiment hits home. It’s this same spirit that founded TRP’s mission of challenging people to act on their faith and values to create healthy and resilient communities for all.

– Raul I. Raymundo, CEO and Co-Founder, The Resurrection Project

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