Growing up in a developing country, I always looked at the U.S. through rose-colored glasses.
It was lauded as the land of opportunity and of milk and honey. I knew at a young age that this was where I wanted to end up, so when I got accepted into USF and was awarded a scholarship that allowed me to actually attend, my parents packed my suitcases and flew me 750 miles away to find my own way.
While I started USF as an international student, I won’t be leaving it as one because I received my green card exactly one year and three days ago. All of my friends and family were overjoyed when I sent them a picture of it.
Aesthetically, it wasn’t anything exciting to look at but that card signifies a future filled with hope. My parents think it means that I won’t have to struggle as much as they did to provide for their grandchildren. I hope they’re right.
But I am one of the lucky ones.
I am from a country that President Donald Trump does not pay attention to. To other people, the people of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, that card means even more than I could ever fathom.
To refugees and immigrants from those countries, that ugly, rectangular piece of plastic with the dark pixelated headshot on the left means their children get to live without fear of being bombed.
The picture of the Statue of Liberty on the opposite side reminds them of the words inscribed in her base every time they open their wallets.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
As an immigrant, as someone new to the U.S., I am of the belief that what Trump did was one of the most un-American things in modern history.
Anyone who has been in a fifth grade history class knows that America was built for immigrants, by immigrants, and one of its greatest characteristics is how it was created to be welcoming to those who are seeking asylum and freedom from whatever oppressive state in which they lived.
During his victory speech on election night, Trump talked about bringing the country together, but all he accomplished with this immigrant ban is driving a larger wedge between the already-divided factions that exist.
If he truly wishes to reunite the nation, I suggest that he educate himself on the world and the people in it. After all, this beautiful country was founded and forged by the sweat and tears of people from every corner of the globe.
America will never be great if it continues to turn away from the very ideals upon which it was established.
Nicole Cate is a senior majoring in mass communication.