Is the Immigration Ban Changing Our American Values?
A letter addressing the immigration ban and how it affects our American values.
I am writing to you regarding your recent immigration ban. The United States was founded by immigrants fleeing persecution and tyranny, and searching for a better life. Americans value our freedoms: religion, speech, assembly, and press. We also embrace different cultures and what those cultures bring to western society. Some even call America a “melting pot”. The United States has always been the inspiration for immigrants seeking a better life.
The travel ban involves six middle eastern countries that have a large number of refugees fleeing war. To turn our back on them is counter to everything America stands for. The poem New Colossus by Emma Lazarus says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,...”(Lazarus). This is engraved beneath the Statue of Liberty and best represents the feelings of the majority of Americans. My own parents have gone through the Immigration process. My family moved here from Canada twenty years ago when my mom transferred jobs. My mom is a citizen of The United States who had lived in Canada since age 7 and my father is a Canadian citizen. One of my uncles moved here from Egypt. At age 18, and an orphan, my uncle fled from the life he knew. When he was trying to leave the country he was shot and injured badly. To deny people like my uncle the chance to have a safe life is exactly what our ancestors were against.
I stumbled across a website called My Immigration Story. One immigrant, Aditi, moved here from India with his family. He shared some sacrifices that his parents made to give him the best chance at succeeding. Aditi shared in his interview that “My father’s MBA was not accredited in the United States so eventually he went back to school to repeat his degree" (My Immigration Story). The parents sacrificed a lot to give Aditi and his sister their best chances. This is an example of immigrants working hard for their own version of the American dream and giving their children a life they never could have.
A result of this travel ban has ruined many people’s plans of moving here for a better life. One family I read an article about was about to move here from the Middle East. The husband who was a white American citizen and his wife who was from the Middle East were so excited to start their family in America. As soon as they were ready to move they were banned. They were devastated because the country that they wanted to be a part of declined them from entering (Santhanam). “If the United States paints itself as a country for the free, why does it exclude those who want to be free?” (TSG blog). This blog explained their views about the ban against immigrants.
Many American citizens are striving to assist immigrants to help them live out their dream. One entrepreneur featured in the American Creed documentary is doing just that. She is creating a learning opportunity for underprivileged people living in the US. She is teaching basic technology skills to her clients so they will be able to find employment easier and provide a better life for their families..
Too many children are born into societies that oppress and minimize them. They are not given the tools and do not have the ability to rise up on their own. In some cases they are held down by poverty, in others they are held back by a caste system. Oppression of women and children has led to a lack of basic education, indentured servitude and even slavery. Many of these people try to flee their country and look for a new home, which we may not provide to them.
Lazarus, Emma. “New Colossus”. Poetry Foundation. Accessed December, 2017. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46550/the-new-colossus
My Immigration Story. Accessed November, 2017. https://myimmigrationstory.com/
Santhanam, Laura. “Immigration Ban Reveals a Nation Divided”. PBS Newshour. Accessed November, 2017. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/immigration-ban-reveals-nation-divided
“The American Dream and its Opposition Towards Immigration”. The Spark Group. Accessed November 2017. https://thesparkgroup.com/ignite/american-dream