I’ve recently read an article describing yet another way that immigration is being limited under the current administration. The article fleshes out an executive order that suspends the admission of temporary work visas, affecting a large proportion of the community with which I’m working this summer. Having seen, time and time again, the immigration process become more difficult, I think a few things. I’m grateful my father was able to become a citizen of the United States when he did. I worry for those who I know are stuck in some status-limbo. And I wonder if I’ve done what I can to help those most affected by actions like these.
Working with immigrant communities, and coming from an immigrant family, I understand why sometimes it feels like the country is trying to turn its back on foreign-born people. There is intolerance and threat hidden behind policies like these that echo an unwelcoming voice. The article allowed for people for and against the executive order to share their opinions, and I think that’s an important part of journalism, but what it lacked was the input of those it directly impacted. I think it’s important to hear from those who are now unable to receive their work visas this year because of the order. What sort of legal jeopardy are they now in? What kinds of people are going to have to live with the stress and risk of not having their visas?
Often times, issues like these seem distant to many people. They may not be close with many immigrants, much less those who are eligible for these specific programs. But amplify immigrant voices and you can see just how impactful they are. Create compassion, a shared human bond, and maybe that can translate into how we live our lives. Use your platform to mend. And maybe that can reassure some that their place in the United States isn’t a burden, but a blessing.