When faced with the task of writing an opinion piece about the recent executive order regarding immigration, I struggled with what angle I should take to express my feelings. After three failed attempts I ended up with a somewhat satirical letter written by America to the Statue of Liberty. So, here goes.
Dear Lady Liberty,
I am disheartened to write you this letter today because I know I have disappointed you. It’s just that I feel like I am being pulled in two different directions. Part of me wants to help those in need who I know I have an obligation to, but an irrational fear I have developed keeps nagging at me. I know the refugees I see on my television screen are just like me. They may speak a different language, practice a different religion and come from a different country, but I know they have the same needs, dreams and aspirations as I do. I also understand that to refuse them help is like saying I don’t care if they are dying, as if it’s not my problem.
But how can I be expected to help these people when I have problems myself? Sure, I’m American, I’m a wealthy nation obligated by the Geneva Convention to take refugees, but I have my own problems. Right now my national unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent and my economic status is wonderful, how could I possibly think about other people when I have these things on my mind? Beside I’ve seen the news reports, I know I have a 1 in 3.64 billion chance of being killed by a refugee and frankly, that number is just too small for me.
Now please Liberty, before you remind me what’s written on your base let me tell you I know what it says. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” And please don’t throw it in my face that preventing someone from entering my boarders because of their religion or nationality violates my constitution.
Just let me have this, it’s so much easier to give in to an irrational fear than to fight it or listen to reason and factual data that contradict it.
Anyway, I’m glad I had time to write you this letter. Keep holding your torch high, but until I get over this could you just make sure people from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen are the ones you’re not letting in your harbor?
The land of the free and home of the brave
This letter explains my feelings about what’s happening in the U.S. now, but it doesn’t represent everyone’s feeling. Do you disagree with my letter? Contact The Lasso and ask to write a letter to the editor. Agree with my letter? Write your own to Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.