A refugee is one who is forced to seek shelter in order to protect; to leave home and often homeland due to violence, imprisonment, genocide, revolution, war, kidnapping, persecution and all other acts that make one flee in order to retain life. Those of us gifted shelter outside of our homelands have learned new languages, adapted new customs, and become vital, productive, educated, hard-working, tax-paying citizens of our adopted countries with great gratitude. We naturally become dual citizens, and if gifted with financial abundance after many years of hard work and saving, we try to visit relatives that were scattered elsewhere or remained on the soils of our birth. It is our innate human right to try to keep ties when distances are often so great, to show our children and grandchildren where the leaves of their culture and roots reside, to have our relations come and visit us when abundance is in their lives. Sound familiar? This reality of migration is almost as old as time.
These travels are the only way I have seen, met, and kept many familial relations and known my homeland since the age of four. The amazingly discriminatory Visa Waiver Bill will change the reality of living in a "free country" with the ability to restrict traveling rights for all American citizens whose countries of origin include Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Columbia, and Venezuela. I would like to continue to see my relatives, whether here or abroad, and travel to my homeland if and when I choose. Second class citizenship status with travel restrictions due to political agendas and the power of fear is spiraling upon on us once again, in a land largely inhabited by immigrants, refugees and the generations that follow.
Colonizers found forcibly restricting migration and movement to be an extremely effective means of subjugating the native peoples of this land, and I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of slavery and the subjugation mentality that still affects the lives of all those with brown or black skin. Subjugation through restricted traveling rights has been and continues to be a popular policy used many a time by many a ruling force. Even in my homeland, this policy was successfully used to subjugate independent tribal and nomadic peoples of the land towards settled citizens of a nation. The fencing of humanity needs to be disassembled, not reinforced.
I don't often say much, but these are flinching times, after many flinching years in the United flinching States, and this flinch fell out my mouth this morning. December 15, 2015
On the Shelf