Since leaving office, former President Barack Obama has been at times reticent to comment on the actions of his successor. But on Wednesday, just as President Trump announced his intention to sign an executive order reversing his own policy of migrant family separation, Obama released a statement condemning that same policy.
“Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?” he wrote in a Facebook post pegged to World Refugee Day. “Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?”
“To be an American is to have a shared commitment to an ideal—that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve the chance to become something better,” the ex-president continued.
“That’s the legacy our parents and grandparents and generations before created for us, and it’s something we have to protect for the generations to come. But we have to do more than say ‘this isn’t who we are.’ We have to prove it—through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.”
Former President Obama last felt compelled to speak out, in a limited fashion, when the Trump administration brought an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). He did so as well when congressional Republicans sought to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature piece of legislation.