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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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Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.


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