Immigration Ban Goes Against Our Nation’s Values
It’s ironic how the United States is a country composed of immigrants who fled their home countries to seek sanctuary, freedom, and a better life in this new one, and now we are banning people who require those exact same things.
It’s ironic how Syrian and Iraqi soldiers are fighting alongside Americans against ISIS and terrorism, risking and sacrificing their lives for the very same ideals that we believe in, and now they won’t have the opportunity to find refuge in America.
The United States of America has always been a safe haven for people who’ve faced oppression, violence, and extreme poverty in their home countries.
It opened its doors to my family who’d escaped a war torn communist country and fled here to obtain freedom and a chance to live their lives without the fear of being treated with hostility because of the way they looked, their cultural backgrounds, or what they believed in.
I grew up privileged and with a minefield of opportunities available to me because America allowed my family in. My family now consists of teachers, accountants, computer engineers, postal workers, UPS drivers, dentists, and waitresses. We are all who we are and where we are because our families were welcomed into the United States.
And so as I closely follow the news covering Donald Trump’s ban on primarily Muslim immigrants, I can’t help but feel sick. He’s going against all of the values that America embodies and seems to have forgotten that America is a country mostly comprised of immigrants stemming from various cultural backgrounds. Most of these immigrants have come to America to escape repression and violence, not to spread it.
With the current refugee crisis, we see too many tragedies occurring everyday in these war stricken countries. There are too many broken families, bloodied children, and great cities left devastated in the wake of war. There are too many hate crimes, violence, and extreme racism within our own country as Donald Trump spreads his ‘alternative facts’ and attempts to instill fear in our minds about the refugees, who now, more than ever, need our kindness and compassion.
This weekend Donald Trump sparked a major public backlash with his egregious executive order that banned citizens from predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to America for 120 days, and halted the entry of refugees from Syria indefinitely. Fortunately, many Americans have banded together to make one statement clear: It’s immoral and discriminatory to ban an entire race of people because of their beliefs. Their beliefs don’t make them a threat and this anti-muslim rhetoric and action will not be tolerated.
I acknowledge that the world can be a terrifying place, especially when we don’t know where our threats are lurking, and it may be easier to point our fingers and accuse one group of people for being the sole source of our terror. Yet just because it’s simpler to accuse one group of people for these things, it doesn’t make our accusations valid or even ethical.
Many of these people who’ve been detained at airports or stopped from entering the country have already undergone thorough background checks. They have already been approved for entry into our country. They display zero threats towards us and don’t deserve this type of unjust treatment.
I understand that many of us may be afraid, but if we let our fear divide us and define our actions, then what kind of people will we be? Men, women, and children from these Muslim countries need our assistance. By alienating and vilifying these innocent victims, we will not only be creating more enemies for ourselves, but we will also be violating our duties as decent human beings.
Let’s not allow fear to dictate our decisions or our actions. Let’s fight to be the embodiment of what the United States of America is supposed to be: a welcoming nation that offers freedom, sanctuary, and opportunity for allpeople. Let’s stand united and let it be known that love trumps hate, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that no person will be discriminated against because of their race, religion, gender, or beliefs.