It’s been almost three months since President Donald Trump has been elected into office. One of his very first actions upon being newly elected was signing an executive order for constructing a wall between the U.S. and Mexico: “Trump’s order also seeks to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, build more detention centers and prioritize immigrants for deportation.” With these new immigration policies, immigrants worry now more than ever about the possibility of deportation.
During the elections, many of us joked around about packing up our stuff and moving to Canada; I know I surely made that joke several times. Canada’s Prime Minister took to twitter to inform everyone that there is a place for everyone in Canada and tweeting the hashtag #WelcomeToCanada.
CBC News reporter, Graeme Gordon, believes that Trudeau should stop telling desperate refugees that everyone is welcome in Canada. Gordon says that Trudeau is not only spreading falsehoods but also enticing people to pack everything and move to Canada with automatic residency: “Trudeau should really stop virtue signaling about how welcoming a country Canada is to newcomers.”
Regardless of any country, an immigration process is something that needs to be taken very seriously. This means that extensive research ought to be done before making a thoughtful decision like relocating to Canada. Trudeau isn’t directly telling people to migrate to Canada but he is encouraging that Canada may be a safe haven to those avoiding oppression. I personally find it very reassuring and comforting knowing that Trudeau is reassuring the public. Trudeau chooses to celebrate diversity rather than persecuting a particular race or religion: “Diversity is our strength.” I applaud the Prime Minister of Canada for his choice of words. During these difficult times for immigrants, it’s a welcoming feeling knowing that there is a potential place for refuge.
On Sunday March 12, 2017, Iowa Republican Representative Steve King twitted the following, “Wilders [a Twitter page] understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” This controversial statement was received majorly with hostility but surprisingly a few political leaders remain supportive of his claims. Those few political leaders also happen to be governing our nation and have the power to influence our nation’s policies. We are currently living in an era where anti-immigration rhetoric, like that of Rep. King, has become common.
It has become a common and natural activity for certain people, like Rep. King, to blame the world’s problems on a particular culture or demographic. This is not the first time he has expressed his concerns to save Western civilization from the attacks of foreign immigrants. He intensely supports the need to build a wall on the U.S. border and to ban Islamic immigrants from entering the U.S. Despite understanding his claims, our blogs ideologies do not support his statement. The United States of America was established by “somebody else’s babies.”
Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding father’s, was the son of an English immigrant. Josiah Franklin (Benjamin’s father) was born in England and emigrated to the U.S. in the 17th century. Without Mr. Franklin’s migration, one of the keystones of our independence movement would not have called himself American. In fact, all of our founding fathers were sons or grandsons of immigrants who came to America for the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our America was established by “someone else’s baby.” Benjamin Franklin was not the only child of an immigrant that shaped our nation. Immigrants like foreign born physicist Albert Einstein enlightened our world with his knowledge. Alexander Hamilton, the founder of America’s financial system, was also foreign born. Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant. His multi-billion dollar company has produced technological devices that have changed our generation.
We do not need to restore our civilization because it was never destroyed in the first place. Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Alexander Hamilton and Steve Jobs are only a few of the immigrants, or sons of immigrants, that have changed our world for the better. They were someone else’s babies of immigrants who were taught right from wrong and contributed to the world they were living in. Their diversity is not our demise but our salvation.
What features are associated with immigrants? Is it the color of skin? Is it the way one dresses? Maybe it’s a name or a religion. In today’s society, there are certain attributes that the media paints with what an immigrant is and how they look like. Although this video is short and simple, it sends a clear message: all immigrants are unique. One cannot simply label or assume that all immigrants will look the same. This clip does a great job of demonstrating the wide spectrum of how an immigrant may look like. You may never know if your neighbor, classmate, or coworker is an immigrant if simply judging on looks. As the old and cliché saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”