Monday, January 30, 2017

I Am An Immigrant Wife And Mother

I am an immigrant wife and mother who hails from the Philippines and President Trump's ban greatly saddened me because all I could think about is that in the place of those who were torn away from their families could have been me. I could have been separated from my husband and 4-month old baby indefinitely - for being Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Yemeni, Libyan or Sudanese.

Why is the government barring people who are legally allowed to come to the US just because they originate from a Muslim majority country? Why are they detaining people who have followed due process and abided by the law? They have earned their right to stay in the US as immigrants, alien workers, permanent residents or refugees. Better yet, let me rephrase that by un-labeling their "legal classifications". They earned their right to stay in this land as international professionals with expertise that they lend to US companies, as husbands and wives of nationals who have left their own homes to follow their heart, as mothers and fathers who have bigger dreams for their families, as innocent survivors of war-torn countries looking for a brand new day.

Some argue that it's just a temporary ban, that it will get lifted in 90-120 days and after that, those who are legal to be in the US will be once again allowed back.

No.

It is not ok.

Immigrants like myself now live in fear. Tomorrow, I might wake up with the news that I've lost my privileges as a permanent resident just for existing, for practicing a particular religion or for being born in my country. That I cease to matter. And because of absurd reasons, I will be separated from the ones that I love.  

Before you make a sweeping defensive comments on how it's for the safety of the nation, all I ask is for you to empathize. It's easy to say things while being detached from the situation. Would you want to be distanced from your family for being a law abiding resident, even if it's just for 90 days?

Your answer is as good as mine.

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