Dear President Trump,
We, as a people, fiercely condemn your xenophobia, your prejudice, and your hate. We fiercely condemn the executive action orders you’ve signed: banning Syrians from taking refuge in the United States, halting immigration to the United States from Muslim nations, and ordering the construction of a Mexican border wall.
These, all under the pretense of, “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry,” meanwhile only selectively banning some Muslim nation’s citizens from entering, and while altogether neglecting to recognize that in this country: what makes America great, are Americans - the melting pot of refugees and immigrations from generational waves. The diversity, the international communities, the embrace of different cultures and languages, are what make America great.
What we believe you’ve neglected to recognize just yet, is that we - as entities of humanity - have all fallen victim to circumstantial society. Not one single person on Earth chooses where they are born, and not one of us gets to choose what history precedes us.
What I believe you’ve neglected to recognize just yet, is that conflict and terror do not solve themselves through governments and leaders, or through walls and immigration bans. Peace does not lie in the hands of Presidents and Executive Orders. History has shown that Peace lies in the hands of the many - Peace is in our, the people’s, hands.
Your spiteful ban on refugees entering the United States, and your immigration bans on Muslim countries, your proposed wall on the Mexico border, are NOT who we are. This is NOT who America is.
On the day after Holocaust remembrance day, let us remember and NEVER FORGET the impact of these types of legislations. Let us recognize our DUTY as fellow human beings to do whatever is in our power to combat prejudice, and to fiercely condemn violence and war.
It is our duty to help those seeking refuge from war, those who have lost everything but the clothes on their backs in an effort to remain safe. I personally say this with my thoughts and my heart recognizing the plight of all of the refugees I was personally honored to meet during my time volunteering at Ritsona Refugee Camp, and all of the refugees who have shared their stories with me at Voices of Refugees*. I say this after my experience with these human beings day-in and day-out for months - witnessing the weight of displacement and trauma beyond their control. I've heard harrowing stories of loss and of suffering, I've seen people lose hope and fall victim to their own torn souls. These human beings are only seeking a pathway to peace - denying them that right is denying our history as a nation, and the world's history as a combatant force.
It is also our moral obligation as a people to recognize that diversity is what makes us who we are - that segregation and prejudice are NOT the answer to terror or to keeping America “safe”.
We, as a people, will continue to be compassionate and open. We will continue to embrace our differences, not isolate them. And we WILL still keep our heads and hopes up because we know the tremendous impact love and empathy has.
You may try to close our borders, your may try to neglect our heritage as a nation. But, we as a people, will not tolerate hatred and prejudice. We will not tolerate suffering and struggle.
We WILL march, we will demonstrate, and we will fight against these executive orders, against injustice, racism, and xenophobia - but most importantly: we will be compassionate, and we will be open in our minds and hearts. Our sentiments are stronger than any pen to a paper, and our will is what will ultimately triumph over all.
And to be absolutely clear:
NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL.
AND YES, REFUGEES ARE - AND WILL ALWAYS BE - WELCOME.
*Familiarize yourself with human beings from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, and elsewhere who are now officially banned from seeking refuge in the United States: