February 7, 2017
Dear President Trump,
I understand that you believe yourself to be the harbinger of a new “America First” era. Truly, that idea is great. We should be concerned primarily with our country. But I am writing to remind you that part of what has made and continues to make America great is our legacy and habit of welcoming immigrants and refugees into our country. There may at times be growing pains, but our challenges make us stronger. Please, learn from history: xenophobia has always lost. You cannot justify actions today with yesterday’s hate and the fear of tomorrow.
I have copied Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” on the back of this sheet, as it is a poignant reminder of what we must stand for. I urge you to rethink your immigration and refugee ban.
The New Colossus- Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Note: “The New Colossus” was written by Emma Lazarus to raise money for the base of the Statue of Liberty, and remains inscribed on a plaque on display within the base of the statue.