Oncologists. Physicians. Software Engineers. Army Veterans and Active Military. Students. Researchers. Families. Whichever way you cut it, you will find that the effect of Donald Trump’s immigration ban on American Citizens makes it one of the silliest moves that a sitting American President has ever made. It was rushed through without much consideration of common sense, with huge disregard for those people in leadership that have more foreign policy experience, and without the clarity that all agencies involved would have loved to have. The result, Americans local and abroad are living in fear and uncertainty. But none more than immigrant families.
What touched me the most was a family of Syrians whose moment to become one again was thwarted by DHS agents in Philadelphia. The ones living here had voted Donald Trump because “… he wants to make America safe.” Safe? The only two attachments Donald Trump ever made to the words “Make America Safe Again” were “The safety of our Police Officers” and “The safety of American Citizens from Muslim terrorists.” This family obviously did not dig enough into what these two ideas meant.
Trump’s promise to keep our Police Officers safe was directed at Black Lives Matter activists and similar groups that were campaigning against police brutality targeted at largely minority groups - primarily young black men. His promise to keep us safe from terrorists was obviously racist in nature - targeted at Americans and immigrants of Arab descent who practice Islam. This Syrian family is obviously not black and, unsurprisingly, they are Orthodox Christians.
It is interesting that a few weeks ago we celebrated the birthday of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American that fought against the internment of Japanese American citizens in the 1940s by President Roosevelt. I am sure in those days, many people of different races saw it as a wise move to intern the Japanese simply because they were not Japanese themselves and it ‘stop-gapped’ the threat of terrorism immediately. Unfortunately, the beast of hate driven by fear rears its head again in a much more diverse America, but somehow immigrants still found a way to stand in different camps even when the lines were so clearly drawn - hate the immigrant or love the immigrant. Donald Trump always made it clear that his campaign was about hating the immigrant.
I feel terrible for that Syrian family. Hopefully it is a lesson to all in this country. Segregation against the Japanese in the 1940s needed to be stamped out to protect the Muslims in the 2000s. The brutality against minorities by Police is not a problem of black people. It could so easily start being directed at muslim girls wearing hijab if Trump woke up and banned it by executive order. And the travel ban against immigrants from Muslim countries is an attack on future freedoms of all Americans - for terrorism could be seen as coming from another country in the future, and this would set a horrible precedent.
We must all unite. Immigrant and non immigrant. Conservative and Liberal. If any notion of fear and hate comes into our politics, we must vote in that election as if party lines did not exist. This is a lesson for America. Hopefully the last one of its kind, but I wouldn’t bet on that.