See below for Virginia Del. Mark Levine’s passionate, powerful speech against family separation at the Alexandria Vigil for Immigrant Families yesterday evening. Also see below the video for a few comments from Del. Levine’s Facebook page relevant to this topic. As Del. Levine says, “If you do not condemn the atrocities of ripping little children away from their mommies and daddies imprisoning them in cages without allowing them a hug or other human contact, then you yourself are a monster.” Now, here’s a partial transcript of Del. Levine’s remarks last night (bolding added by me for emphasis).
We hear children crying out…I don’t know about you, but if I see a little child in a grocery store that is lost and calling for mommy or daddy I help that child find their mommy or their daddy. And now my country – our country – is forcibly tearing children away from their parents and I am ashamed. I am ashamed of my country. I love my country. And because I love it, I am ashamed by the cruel acts done in our name. Now I know that they’re being done by a person that was rejected by the American people, who lost by millions of votes. But our system has flaws. And that flawed system has put this monster in power. And I think we have to call it out. I think sometimes if we don’t call it out, worse things happen…
I want to thank the woman who brought the sign that said “never again,” but right now we have been women and children – this time they’re crossing the land border, that doesn’t make a difference – they’re escaping violence, they’re escaping murder, they’re escaping brutal gangs, they’re seeking asylum. This is a country that’s supposed to be all about asylum. We celebrate Thanksgiving. We remember pilgrims who came here because of religious persecution. This is a country where the vast majority of us are either descendants of immigrants or descendants of slaves. But the vast majority of us have our ancestors came from somewhere else. And I’ve long said the only people have any right to complain about immigration are Native Americans; the rest of us don’t…I know that immigrants for hundreds of years are our blessing, not our curse…Immigrants are what makes America great...
These people separating children are unAmerican; they’re against the very basis of who we are as a country. And I need your help, we need your help, those children need all of your help. Yes we should pray. Yes we should be sad. But I need action folks. I need all of you to vote. I need you to vote out anyone who supports this atrocious policy and anyone who’s silent about it, because if you’re silent you are complicit…I need all of you to speak out…It is up to all of us to create a society where those that teach hate are ostracized…I hate to be revolted by my country. Let’s bring back the America that we all love and hopefully all of you can help me do that.
“1) Immigrants CONTRIBUTE to the US economy and our tax base and bring in far more revenue than they cost.
2) Immigrants (whether documented or not) commit crimes at far lesser rates than American citizens and thus MAKE OUR COUNTRY SAFER.
3) Are you really saying you want us to be more like Syria and North Korea?
4) Did your ancestors come to this country as immigrants? Mine did. They were broke when they did so. But I think their descendants have contributed mightily to this country.
5) If you were separated from your parents at birth and placed in a cage where you were not allowed a hug, might you become a terrorist and try to kill every American you saw when you grew up (particularly since assault weapons are easily available)? I think you would. But immigrants treated well have contributed to this country for hundreds of years…even before Alexander Hamilton.”
“We must all work to save our country from sliding into Fascism. We must work together with grim determination every single day until America becomes the land of the free and the home of the brave, with liberty and justice for ALL.”