Emailing With the President—by Ayala Emmett

I am delighted to get emails from the president that say, “I need you Ayala.” I know that emails from the president are mass-produced, yet they have a personal appeal for me because they use my first name. Yesterday, I got an email from President Obama asking me to join him, “before the ball drops and we close the books on 2015, will you join me and pitch in to help Democrats retake the Senate.” Since I like the spirit of being asked to join the president I respond to his appeal with a reciprocal email request:

Dear President Obama,
Before the ball drops and we close the books on 2015 will you join me in saving the lives of children and mothers that you have decided a few days ago, to deport? Would you until Thursday’s FEC deadline, contribute to our fund, Jewish Women for Child Refugees (JWCR) to help save the lives of children asylum seekers from Central America? (To make a donation, please click on JWCR, it will take you to an article with details for contributions.) JWCR has organized in 2014 to assist children and mothers because as American Jews we remember a time during World War II when it was Jewish parents who put their children on trains, boats and buses, hoping they would find safety at the end of their journey.

Now the designated deportees of your administration are children and mothers asylum seekers who are fleeing unspeakable violence, and have risked their lives to come here, because remaining in their countries of origin is a death sentence. One of the lawyers who we funded to go to Dilly Texas to represent these asylum seekers told us, “Every single woman I spoke to (approximately 30 or so) described a terrifying journey to the US, including rape and other sexual assault, violence, robbery, exhaustion, and near starvation. They are incarcerated because they want to live here, and have risked their lives to get here. One woman said, ‘America is the only country on earth where people follow the law.’” She added that the mothers “all felt that deportation was a death sentence.” One mother, Mr. President, described swimming the Rio Grande with her baby on her back to get here.

The mothers know the threat that waits at the end of deportation. Just three months ago in October 2015 The Guardian reported “that several U.S. deportees were killed after American customs agents returned them to the Central American countries from which they fled. Some of them were killed within days of their return.” The report noted that Human rights experts warn that our US government is not fulfilling its obligation “to provide asylum to those genuinely in peril in violation of international law.”

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has already responded to your decision to deport, saying that “we need to take steps to protect children and families seeking refuge here, not cast them out. Our nation has always been a beacon of hope, a refuge for the oppressed.”

President Obama, please join the senator, please support JWCR and above all do the right thing and tell the children and mother that America has been and will be their beacon of hope and their place of refuge.

Happy New Year

P.s. When you stand with us, know there are more of us than there are Trumpis.