I went to a job fair today. At the Metro station, I noticed a young woman searching around and staring at her phone, apparently lost. So, after we got off the escalator, I asked her if she needed directions. She looked relieved and said yes. Turns out she was headed for same the job fair, so we walked the few blocks chatting together.
She has her Master’s Degree in some kind of IT/data analysis/health care research stuff. She came to this country 6 months ago from Nepal with her husband on an H1 Visa. They are here, in our country, to make a better life for themselves.
But they are are not just making a better life for themselves. They are making a better America.
This country was built on the skills, talents, ingenuity, and back-breaking labor of immigrants. Why do we keep forgetting that? Why does someone like Donald Trump preach a slew of anti-immigration policies when he, himself is a product of immigrants?
What, exactly, does his campaign slogan mean? “Make America Great Again”
How far do we go back to claim the “Great America” we want to recreate?
America when the white man came over and killed off most of the indigenous people?
America when we legally enslaved millions of Africans?
America before the Irish came?
America before the Chinese came?
America before the Scandinavians came?
America before the Italians came?
America before the Germans came?
America before the Mexicans came?
America before the Hmong came?
America before the Cubans came?
America before the Guyanese, the Dominicans, the Nepalese?
(order of immigration waves from here)
What would America be without immigration? Think about it just for one minute.
I hope Subita gets lucky at the job fair.
I hope we open our doors to our Syrian neighbors.
To quote President Obama, in a speech in 2014,
“There is no us or them, there is only us.”