As you may know, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions instituted a “zero tolerance” policy toward immigration seekers. I am not exaggerating in the least when I tell you that this means 1) treating asylum-seekers like criminals and 2) stealing their children away from them and putting them in detention facilities. 1995 children were taken from their parents in the recent span of six weeks.

We have an unfair and messed-up immigration laws. We’ve had them for a long time. But this policy change has been a surreal gut-punch. I was stunned for a bit. This is Nazi-level cruelty. It could be changed today if the administration said so. There is no legislation needed to change the policy and there were no laws requiring this policy. Donald Trump has even admitted that he is doing this to negotiate for increased border security, basically to build a border wall.

As you may also know, my father is dying. I could say, “This is too much for me” and not do anything to change this policy. But I know what is too much for me and further, it is not that hard for me to do something and even harder to know that I could do something and I didn’t. Frankly, I could do a lot more to help my country. I could also do a lot less. We each have to figure out how to run this marathon and how many rest stops are needed.

Yesterday, my husband and I attended a small protest rally in Seattle. One of the speakers told us to turn to someone next to us and hug them like he or she was our child. People turned and hugged a person or two. I saw a woman in my peripheral vision who was walking through the crowd hugging lots of people, individually. She approached me. We There were tears in the eyes that met mine and she said, “Thank you for being here.”

It was not lost on me in the split second before I responded that her “thank you” may have had something to do with her brown skin vs. my white skin and the Spanish accent that identified her as an immigrant. I replied, “Of course. Of course! Thank YOU for being here.”

My response was slightly awkward but heartfelt. What is more fitting than helping our fellow human beings, especially the most vulnerable among us?