An Immigrant's Daughter Gives Her Perspective On An Anti-Immigrant President

Photo: ELLE

Photo: ELLE

By Elaina Nyandat

My parents were both born in the great city of Nairobi in Kenya. They met in high school and moved to the United States in the early 1990s where in their beginning years of American life they would have two little girls. My parents came here seeking greater education to better themselves and provide the life they wanted my sister and I to live, the same reason many other immigrants come to the United States. 

As a first-generation Kenyan-American, it hurts to know that people who have put time and effort to have a better life in the United States are now being turned away from a country that was started by people who were persecuted for their beliefs. It was because of immigrants that this country’s population doubled and tripled and grew till it was coastline to coastline.

It was because of immigrants that this country’s population doubled and tripled and grew till it was coastline to coastline.

My parents were immigrants and it would bring me great pain if they were ever banned from coming back to the United States. It would mean getting to see them only once every one to two years. As a U.S. citizen, I am appalled at the fact we are restricting people from entering our country just because they are of a certain religious faith. 

Entering week two of the Trump presidency has brought a travel ban upon seven countries. Citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan are now prohibited from entering the United States, even if they are a green cardholder. Airports all over the South and East Coast have detained people entering from these countries causing protests in the arrivals section of the airports. NYPD have blocked subway entrances to JFK due to the enormous number of protestors. Hashtags like #NoBanNoWall and #Resist have been trending all over the United States and the country is becoming divided between Trump supporters and Trump resistors.

Something that people have noticed on the list of countries on the Muslim ban is that the countries with high Muslim counts like Saudi Arabia are not on the list. Why is the ban discriminating against certain countries but not others like Saudi Arabia?

Well, banning people from a country you have business ties with is bad for business. Trump is also getting rid of anybody who is not willing to defend this ban, like his former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates who refused to defend Trump in court. 

Based on this, we can assume that Trump will continue to make decisions that will only help his business and not our country. 

The silver lining: Midterm elections, because unfortunately for Trump, we all have the right to vote as American citizens. We need to exercise that right to the fullest and make sure that we have a Congress that represents the true values of the American people today. We also need to encourage others to vote, protests issues we're passionate about and support organizations that will legally combat the administration. 

As a child of immigrants, I will exercise my right to vote on Nov 6, 2018. And all of us should do the same.

Elaina NyandatComment