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This blistering resignation letter from a White House adviser is a must-read.

The woman who helped write the Refugee Act is resigning in disgust over Trump's immigration policies.

This blistering resignation letter from a White House adviser is a must-read.

When Elizabeth Holtzman was in Congress, she helped write the Refugee Act, which has guided the U.S.'s principles on the issue for nearly four decades.

In more recent years, she's been serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, a bipartisan team of experts that advises presidential administrations. That council includes a committee which, in 2016, called for the end of for-profit immigration detention facilities — an issue front and center in Trump's support of family separation policies.

Holtzman is a Democrat, but she's a stateswoman first and foremost. She's joined four other council members who are resigning in protest of Trump's immigration policies, and her powerful resignation to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen letter is a must-read.


The letter is a call to arms that recalls America's progress on how we treat refugees and immigrants, and how we're now squandering that away in catastrophic fashion.

"There was a time that the U.S. welcomed refugees," Holtzman wrote.

She pointed out that the Refugee Act was created in the aftermath of our country's failure to properly take in Jewish people and other marginalized groups fleeing the Holocaust. Holtzman dropped some hefty numbers: 750,000 refugees taken in from Vietnam, 600,000 from Cuba, and 100,000 Jewish refugees who fled the Soviet Union.

She argued that the shift in policy is not only immoral, but also in direct violation of the Refugee Act: "Considering that history, the thought that the U.S. government is afraid today of 2,000 children and their parents is both laughable and appalling."

She's resigning, but she wishes it were someone else.

Technically, her letter is written to Nielsen, and that’s heavy enough. But it’s clearly a shot at Trump as well.

"Although it is I who am resigning in protest against these policies, it is you who should be tendering your resignation instead," Holtzman wrote to Nielsen.

Yes, the letter is a scathing indictment of Trump's family separation policy, something nearly 70% of Americans oppose. But it's also about something more: The U.S. is abdicating its moral leadership on vital humanitarian issues at a time when we should be doubling down on doing the right thing.

Consider this letter the new inspirational poster to pin to our walls, serving as a reminder of how great we've been, and can be if we stand up for what's right.

Correction 7/23/2018: An earlier version of this story mistook who Holtzman was asking to resign; it has been updated for clarity.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.