Dear refugees: We are sorry. I am sorry.
I just want you to know that. This America, the one you're seeing, the hateful one, the mean one, that's not us. At least, it's not us all the time. It's us at our worst and weakest. We're a mess right now, and we're not handling it very well.
And I am horrified that this could become your vision of our beautiful country: of ignorant policies driven by fear, that fly in the face of both facts and logic. I would understand where you might think that this is what all Americans believe, that we don't care about you. But I promise you that this is not the case.
Look, I'm not going to kid myself that you or anyone else is sitting around wondering what I have to say about this. But I am the daughter of a refugee, and I can't go to sleep tonight without joining my voice to the chorus of protest. I can't live with myself without trying to amplify in some way the message that we have not forgotten you, that you are not alone. There are millions of us, refugees and allies, followers of Jesus and Allah and the Buddha and nobody at all, and we love you and welcome you and believe that our world is better with you in it.
And for those of us lucky enough to have gotten here already, I am here to tell you that we will not pull up the ladder behind us. We will fight for you. Not just for better policies, because that's not enough; rightly or wrongly, people here are acting out of fear and ignorance, and those of us on the other side haven't always been very good at addressing that. We will do everything we can to advocate for you, our brothers and sisters, to understand why this has happened, to try and change that and build this country again into a place that welcomes you. It's not going to be easy. Changing hearts and minds never is. But that doesn't make it less necessary.
It may look like our lamp has fallen and our door has closed. It hasn't. Even in the dark, there are some of us still here, trying to start a fire that will lead you home.