A Home for Immigrants

February 27, 2017

Yesterday, Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven countries in the Middle East.

I wanted more than anything to bury my head in the sand and convince myself that there are sufficient checks and balances to ensure that American values will persevere. However, I couldn't help but think of my own past.

I came to America at the young age of three. Now, almost two decades later, I find myself lucky enough to be in one of the best learning institutions in the world. I would not be here if not for the opportunity to come to this new land, of mixed cultures and welcoming values. For that, I remain immensely grateful and appreciative.

As an immigrant myself, now a naturalized citizen, it deeply saddened me and worried me earlier today when I heard the news. This executive order and others are a part of a world vision of mistrust. It is premised on the idea that all people from these countries pose a threat to the United States.

To blindly classify all refugees from certain regions as threats is to close our eyes and our hearts to the world. Each person is valuable to our society not as just another pair of hands for labor, but rather as a collection of shared experiences in a world different from our own. Yet often those stories are plagued with fear of not knowing if the next mortar shell will be the one to hit their home, or uncertainty if their lives will be remembered as just tallies under "civilian casualties."

And so, I choose to believe in a different world vision, one of tremendous goodness in the people around us. It is only with trust that we can ease mistrust, and with kindness that we can beget kindness.