shutterstock_91837658In a January 7, 2016, article in Fusion, Tim Rogers tells readers that the Obama Administration, “is on pace to deport more people than the sum of all 19 presidents who governed the United States from 1892-2000.” Think about that for a second. This is the reality as we get ready for  President’ Obama’s final State of the Union Address which takes place tonight, in the recent wake of the newly launched enforcement actions against families, women, and children who have fled some of the most dangerous conditions on earth in gang-plagued Central America.

The State of the Union used to be an opportunity to hear a message of optimism and hope, when the president would outline the administration’s goals and objectives for the coming year.  But recently, it seems we have lost our way; that we have morphed into something that we are not.  Americans have always embraced the role of our nation as protector, wise guardian, and leader. We have sacrificed thousands of brave men and women who have gone to foreign shores to protect a populace they did not know from dictators, tyrants, and terrorists because it was the right thing to do. It was the American thing to do.

We are, and have always been, a benevolent nation of people who believe in the words, “for those to whom much is given, much is required.”  Removing mothers, and children to one of the most dangerous places in the world is un-American.  It is not us.  Central American refugees have come to our border with horrendous stories of murder, rape, abuse, and torture by gangs that roam freely.  These refugees bring their only priceless possessions – their children – hundreds of miles by foot in the hope that America will protect them like America protected the many oppressed people before them.

This is not the time for America to pretend we are something that we are not.  The oppression is real.  The murder is real.  The rape is real.  The mothers and their small children are real.  America is being asked by Central American refugees to do what we have done without hesitation for generations because they believe in America, her benevolence, and her protection.

The Obama Administration must stop the raids and must step up and offer protection to those who seek refuge. It’s time for America to do what we know is the right thing to do. It’s the American thing to do. That’s what I need to hear from President Obama tonight.

Written by Matt Maiona, Member, AILA Media Advocacy Committee