Where Is Lady Liberty's Light?
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Politics

Where Is Lady Liberty's Light?

The very symbol of the Statue of Liberty is to welcome the tired, the poor, the homeless, and the tempest-tossed to a nation with a golden door. But with this presidency, this golden door will now be closed.

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Where Is Lady Liberty's Light?
newsweek.com

Let’s talk about politics— specifically, politics in the United States of America.

I know, I know, you’re tired of the melodrama, but hey, this stuff is important. So, where do we start? Let’s go back about 2 years.

In 2015, presidential candidates broadcast announcements about their campaigns nationwide. At the forefront of the voting parties, there was Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz. Neither of these two candidates were a surprise; Clinton had previously run for president in 2008 and Cruz had gone through 2 years as a senator of Texas. But then came June 2015, and Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign. And as expected, many people joked about the matter as this wasn’t the first time that Trump had run for president. “Donald Trump? For president? Why? The guy’s a businessman, not a politician”— these phrases were often repeated around social media, and at the time, a lot of people agreed.

Yet, then came Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”, and boy did people get fired up. People switched candidates with a snap of their fingers, and all of the sudden, Trump was the one leading the Republican party. With his unsolicited charisma and promise for radical change, Trump gained a following that proved to overpower the other candidates’ numbers. Admittedly, the lack of political censorship was refreshing, but Trump’s words were anything but. Here was a guy promising a lot: a wall, a banning, and a branding plus a multitude of other things. To his supporters, he was a man of the people. To others, he was a man of terrors.

The core of Trump’s campaign was, and still is, simple. To reinforce the immigration agenda and to lockdown on the War on terrorism. In the midst of several ISIS attacks in 2016, these promises gave people hope. But at the same time, this withdrew from an ultimate promise that the United States of America made long ago.

If you have forgotten, let me remind you, this is a country that was founded on immigrants. That, the very symbol of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island is to welcome the tired, the poor, the homeless, and the tempest-tossed to a nation with a golden door. But with this presidency, this golden door— this fundamental idea— will now be closed.

From a critical standpoint, one could say that that promise is outdated, but if you believe in keeping the United States’ roots, why would you want to crop out that foundational idea? Is it because times are different? Is it because people have changed? Or is it because in this moment, it would be more convenient to kick out immigrants than to sympathize with other countries?

“Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mark 12:30-31), was this not one of the greatest Commandments? Or how about this, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself for you were foreigners in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33-34). These are quotes from the Bible, and even though I, myself, am not a practicing Christian, I hold these words accountable to those who disapprove of movements that disagree with biblical principles, yet heartily approve of the ban on immigration.

And before you start arguing, I will agree that yes, the United States must enforce more regulations on illegal immigration and yes, the benefits that an illegal immigrant may receive are unfair in comparison to a legal citizen. But consider this: if you were in a country stricken with poverty, civil wars, and corrupt administration, where would you go? Would you accept death? Would you do nothing? Or would you endure an intense and almost impossible trip to a land that promises better opportunities and freedom?

These are the questions that immigrants consider before crossing the border or riding a cramped boat or risking their lives so that their loved ones are safe. I am privileged enough to never experience such situations, and I credit that to the fact that I am an American. That, since I was born, I had the freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. I love the rights that Americans are given, yet in the past two weeks, there have been actions prohibiting our given amendments. And now, more than ever in modern history, our freedoms seem to be dwindling and contorted for the elite's convenience.

Am I citing information incorrectly, or am I just giving my own set of alternative facts? I certainly hope not.

I am willing to acknowledge Trump as president because that is now his title. I am willing to negotiate and make compromises because arguments will lead to nothing. But I will let you know that in this country, there are now people who feel that they are not safe, not free, and not welcome.And look at America at point-blank, are we not the “Land of the Free”? Are we not a land that welcomes new citizens? To me, I feel as though we have swayed greatly from that path.

May we be a nation united and stronger as one, but under recent circumstances, the division between populations has shown societal devastation. Let us learn to compromise and settle with one another; the exploitation of government-rule and the schismatic tension between groups has grown tiresome, and I, for one, am ready for some greatly needed discussion.

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