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Immigrants: We Get the Job Done

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Welcome to America!

Welcome to America!

Derek Jensen, Wikimedia Commons

Derek Jensen, Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to America!

Sonia Rao, Staff Writer

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A plaque on the Statue of Liberty reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” For years, generations of tired, poor, and huddled masses of immigrants sailed past this statue welcoming them into our nation.  But this past Friday, President Trump signed an executive order on a ban that threatens this message, and the very core of our country.  America is supposed to be a melting pot of people of different backgrounds and ethnicities.  In signing this ban, Trump prohibited immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, including those who have green cards and are current residents of the U.S.  In my opinion, this action is not only un-American, but also unjust to the thousands of people being denied access to a country supposedly regarded for its acceptance.

As the granddaughter of immigrants, I would not have the life that I do today if my grandparents hadn’t been able to come to the U.S. from India.  My grandfather loves telling the story of how he and my grandmother left everything they had ever known in India, including their family, to travel to America with 20 dollars, my two-year old mother, and a couple suitcases of what few belongings they were able to bring over.  Although they started out living in a small, one-bedroom apartment, they eventually became Colonels in the U.S. Air Force and spent over 30 years giving back to the country that took them in.  However, many people don’t bother to look past their accents and skin color to regard them as veterans, or even contributing members of society.  Instead, they fall back onto stereotypes that are often insulting and detrimental.  No, not all immigrants are veterans.  They are doctors and bus drivers, engineers and construction workers, teachers and plumbers.  They are hard workers and intelligent minds.  Most importantly, they are people, and do not deserve the labels and insults carelessly being thrown onto them during this time.  

Don’t get me wrong: I am not denying President Trump’s argument that there are “bad” immigrants out there, immigrants who become the faces of news stories about radical terrorists and shootings.  But I counter this statement with remembering how many American citizens have also engaged in wrongful crimes as well.  There are terrible people in every group, no matter their religion or background.  But as Americans, it is our duty to put preconceived notions aside and welcome all people to our country with open arms.  As the Pledge of Allegiance that we recite every day says, we are “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We are called the United States of America for a reason, and we cannot let the actions of a few undermine this statement, and the very core of our country.

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
Immigrants: We Get the Job Done