On June 30, a nation came together in support of #FamiliesBelongTogether to call for the immediate reunification for all children torn apart from their mothers and fathers. Fremont’s own #FamiliesBelongTogether rally brought more than 500 people together at Veterans Park next to the Fremont courthouse. The crowd was a microcosm of the diversity that is Fremont. I was honored to be asked to share my father’s memory as a WWII veteran who liberated a Nazi concentration camp in Nordhausen in 1945. I shared the stage at the rally with other community leaders and dignitaries. Many of them spoke from their own experience of vulnerability and discrimination - whether as Latina women, members of the LGBTQ community, as African Americans, or Japanese Americans. To remember and to retell is to reclaim our shared humanity as we unite together in common cause with the families who have been forever traumatized in separation.
While we must be vigilant in protecting our borders, we can do so in a way that honors our greatest traditions as Americans. We can do both fairly with due process, yet adjudicate efficiently claims of asylum, while treating asylum seekers with the dignity, respect and basic human decency all of us - wherever we are born - are entitled as our birthright. And a due process that extends to all “persons” – not just citizens - under the 5th Amendment of our Constitution.