It’s like a giant F-U to the founding principles of this country, to the 1st Amendment and to decent human compassion.
As an American woman of Arab and Jewish heritage I am horrified that this nation of immigrants is setting up policy to turn its back on those seeking asylum here, those seeking an education, those seeking a living wage, those seeking refuge from war, those looking for a better life.
In October and November I spent some time with Holocaust survivors who are traveling to classrooms to teach about compassion, empathy and history. Their message is a poignant reminder of how easily good turns bad to worse to unimaginable. A few told me they were worried it was happening again, right here, in the country they’ve adopted because they could not live where they were born.
I’ve always thought my unique heritage gave me a certain perspective. At one point I thought a career as a diplomat would be suitable. As a young newspaper reporter I had my eye toward the AP Jerusalem bureau. I wanted my work to help wage peace and understanding.
I’ve always felt relatively safe here in my country. I haven’t always felt like I’ve fully belonged, and have felt like an outsider. But other than when I was forced off a plane and detained, I’ve felt a general sense of safety. Now I’m not so sure.
It’s a scary time with many uncertainties for non-white Non-Christians living in America. It’s a scary time for immigrants and people trying desperately to get in the country.
But I believe we are better than this. And I hope, sincerely, that our goodness outweighs the racism, xenophobia, isolationism and hatred booming from the White House.
As this continues to unfold, I’ll be following the ACLU’s work and supporting its efforts. I hope you will too.
- ACLU mounts legal challenge to Trump’s refugee ban.
- Trump’s order blocks immigrants at airports
- Two Iraqis file suit after being detained