Sunday, January 29, 2017
Liberty and Justice to All
I somehow feel there are a lot of views on this topic. I don't want to offend anyone, but I feel I do need to say what is on my mind.
I looked at shock at the decision that prevented the entry of many people to the US. They were denied entry simply because they were from specific countries. These people were denied entry even if they had the proper visa, or even had a Green Card to enter the country.
I can only imagine what that is like. I have had the desire to visit my family and my old mother for the past 2 years. But, since I stand at the risk of not being able to get back into the US, I am reluctant to leave the US and go home for a visit. I am afraid now with the new decision and others that may follow, I have two choices...I can stay in the United States working at my current job that I love, living in the house I just bought and enjoy all the freedoms in this country and never see my mother again, or I can go home to see my mother one more time and not ever return to the United states, losing my job and everything I own. I am frustrated with the position that this has put me in...choosing between my family and my future and job.
I have a brother who was working here in the US in the 80's. He had a valid work visa here. He had a good job, a car, a house and was happy. He decided to go back home to Beit Sahour for a 2-week visit. He was never allowed back to the United States. He lost all his belongings and his job. I remember my brother being so depressed and almost going crazy trying to get the United States to allow him back in.
My family and I are Christians...but we are still automatically labeled as terrorists just because we are Palestinian. That is why we don't easily get into many countries. But, we are still blessed because we still can live in Palestine in relative safety. We are surrounded by walls and checkpoints, denied of many human rights, have no access to water most of the time, we have bad economy, but we have our homes. We have a home that is not constantly being bombed...
I think of those in Syria and other places, who have no homes, no cities even left. Where do they go? What do they do? It is sad that many countries are closing their doors to them...
I think of my friend from Yemen, who is now a refugee in Malaysia. He can't work in Malaysia, and he has no where to go. He can't return to Yemen because ISIS has already tried to kill him and his family simply for converting to Christianity.
As Yemen is one of the seven countries that the US imposed a ban on, my friend has lost all hope from ever coming to the US. He was so happy about the possibility of coming here last year. "I look forward to going to the temple in SLC", he told me. Now, that seems like a dream.
Why can we simply consider someone a potential threat simply because they were born in a certain country? What gives us the right to judge people's hearts? To decide who comes to the US to do good and who does not....I simply think of my family, some of which are US citizens...My brother, Mazin, who has done so much work in genetics and helped science progress...my nephew Danny with great inventions regarding scanning...The US would be so different without immigrants. There are so many immigrants who shaped the history in the US and made it the great nation it is...
I am not sure how Americans could forget that without immigrants this country would be empty...Everyone of them comes from a line of immigrants.
I lived with Muslims all my life, and have countless friends that are Muslims. I honestly look at all those good people I know and think, "how could someone be considered a threat simply because they are Muslim?" and isn't this way of thinking the very thing that causes radical Muslims to want to do terrorist acts? Doesn't hate and discrimination cause more hate.
"[God] hath made of ONE blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." (Acts 17: 26)
I hope we all can remember that we are brothers and sisters. I hope we can be forgiving and welcoming to all people. I hope we can extend a hand to help those that have lost all they have.
"Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted." (Alma 4: 12) Let us not act this way, but stretch forth a hand to serve, uplift, strengthen and support others in their afflictions.