When I go into the classroom every day, I teach my students without regard to their gender, ethnicity, income level, sexuality, or location of their birth. My job is to love and encourage each and every student who comes into my classroom. I have taught bright and promising students who are undocumented. I have seen the fear that they live with because of the administration’s actions.
My great-grandparents came here from Mexico, Ireland, Italy, and some even fled the Nazis to come here. My mother-in-law emigrated here from Korea. America is a country that grows more exceptional with more diversity. There is a compassionate way to move forward with immigration policy that recognizes how much the immigrants who come here to seek a better life for their families contribute to our economy, to our way of life, and to all the things that make our country a shining city upon a hill that Reagan so often spoke of.
Democrats and Republicans haven’t always been so divided on this issue. To quote President Reagan’s farewell address, “In my mind it [the shining city upon a hill] was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” We can all recognize the longing that immigrants have for the type of freedom we take for granted in this country. There is common ground between us, and I will work to build policy on that common value that every human is endowed with inherent dignity and worth and that our country is best when it is a welcoming light to those in the darkest places.