By Keegan Ried:
Take your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and go home. Perhaps it’s time we updated the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. With each passing day, it seems as though Lady Liberty acts less and less like a beacon of hope for those arriving on our shores, and is now acting more and more like a giant symbol of a bygone era in which immigrants weren’t treated as burdens to be dealt with, but as real human beings.
Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, it feels like the “nation’s” view of immigration has turned from an opportunity to share our incredible wealth with those seeking asylum and hope, to this idea that we somehow do not have enough of anything, including kindness, to share with non-Americans. Our country’s leadership is so out of touch with immigrant families that they now treat those families like livestock that have invaded our fields from a neighboring farm; find the hole in the fence, send them back and plug the hole. Trump’s decision to repeal DACA is the latest push in a string of Trump-initiated events targeting immigrants.
People come to the United States for myriad reasons, but all too often we who were privileged enough to be born here forget that outside the comfort of our borders, people are dealing with issues far more complex than which new phone to purchase. People who uproot themselves and even their entire families are coming to this country in hopes that they can escape unending wars, oppressive regimes and extreme poverty. We are in no position to say, “Well, you need to go back to that life because you didn’t get a piece of paper.”
Trump is leading us down a dangerous path of ego fueled destruction. As he encourages us to focus on our own comforts, our own successes and our own desires, we shut out people who need help the most. When we are focusing on things at arm’s length–we can’t see the world crashing down around us and we certainly can’t see the people it’s crushing.
We need to stop and reset our views of immigration and where we stand in our global community. What is our purpose in this world? Are we a country that saves people from the unthinkable? What example are we setting for other nations? If Trump can so easily divide families to accomplish his own goals, what will stop him from focusing on your family next?