I am the great-granddaughter of immigrants. My grandfather’s parents came here from Poland; at the time, they were members of a group of people not welcomed by Americans. Despite that, my grandfather enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 to fight against fascism, religious hatred, and anti-Semitism.
My immigrant great-grandparents’ descendants include two veterans, two teachers, a doctor, an architect, a social worker and community organizer, a mathematician and a college professor – all of us fighting for a country that truly lives up to its democratic ideals.
And I find myself, the great-grandchild of Polish immigrants, now fighting against fascism and religious hatred in my own country.
Trump’s executive order targeting Muslim immigrants from seven countries (but not countries where he has business holdings) – including Legal Permanent Residents and thoroughly vetted refugees fleeing persecution – is blatantly unconstitutional, steeped in Islamophobia, and rank with religious hatred.
This nationalistic regression is not why my great-grandparents immigrated. They came because they believed Emma Lazarus’ words: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...”
It is time for all of us to fight, so that we can again say we are truly lifting our lamps beside the golden door.