I am a daughter of opportunity... My mother and her side of the family immigrated from Jamaica in the 1970s. They came here for a better life in the Land of Opportunity. And, I have been able to live that dream. I earned a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, which cracked the world open for me. It showed me what was within the realm of possible. I've gotten to live in France. I received my B.A. from Georgetown University and my M.B.A. from Virginia Tech. I have created a life that I wouldn't have dreamt was possible. I own a house, which leaps and bounds larger than any place I grew up in. I am so thankful for the life that I have all because I was fortunate enough to be born American.
This current fear regarding immigration is nothing new. America goes through waves of xenophobia with an increase of immigration. We saw this to be true when folks came from Europe in the 1800s. Each group was demonized, the Italians, the Irish, etc. Each group assimilated out of fear. Families would change their last name (*ahem* Drumpf) to draw less attention to their ancestry. So, this fear ain't new, folks. And, it will not go away unless we take the time to focus on our commonalities vice our differences.
I grew up in New York City with people from all around the world. Places I'd never heard of before then like Turkey, Albania, and the Philippines. I had friends who spoke different languages. Who ate different foods. The beauty about growing up where I did in Brooklyn was that those differences were celebrated. We were encouraged to bring food from our family's countries and share our cultures. We learned about Hannukah and Chinese New Year. And, it was beautiful. We never thought twice about someone wearing a hijab. The first time I met a girl with one the only thing I remarked was how beautiful her hair was underneath when I did see it.
I understand the need to protect resources. And, the need to crack down on illegal immigration... howeverrrrrrrrrrrr.....
How can we turn our backs on those in need? There is a danger that lurks within our society. Yes, there could be a few bad eggs but we shouldn't throw out the entire carton just because we can. I pray that we have mercy because there might be a day when we need help and cannot find it.