Hungary, 1957, sixty years ago
My grandfather’s family knew they had to go

He crossed the mountains, just a teen,
Left everything he’d ever seen

He and his family would be dead
If America had not said:

“Refugees welcome”

America: Built by immigrants, built on a dream
Of a place to escape a tyrannical regime

A country where all of its people could be free
A country where they all could live in equality

A place where regardless of religion, race or creed
People came together in their time of need:

“Refugees welcome”

And now we live divided, both within us and without
We ban immigrants and refugees – is this what America’s about?

We say, “They might be terrorists,” we keep them out for fear
But any white might be a terrorist, we don’t kick them out of here

And now we close our borders, and now we just stand by
And we don’t let people in who we condemn to die:

“Refugees unwelcome”?

How can we tell people they cannot come in?
How can we commit such a terrible sin?

People are dying, and other people kill,
And we don’t seem to care, even still

I am only here alive today
Because America did not say:

“Refugees unwelcome”

We don’t have to ignore the people who will die
We don’t have to ignore their families who cry

Tell me that it’s not too late
Tell me we can counter all this hate

“The home of the free, and the home of the brave”
Tell me America can still be saved:

“Refugees welcome”?

We mustn’t kill people by not letting them in
Yes, hate is brutal, but love still can win

Let’s sing, and let’s write, and let’s talk, and let’s pray,
And let’s march and let’s try to help people today

So for Papa, for the Founding Fathers, so for us all
Today I will stand and today I will call:

“Refugees welcome”


—  Sarah Chava Weiss, Age 16, Homeschool, Michigan