Last September, my mom celebrated the 30th anniversary of her moving from Damascus, Syria, to Cedar Rapids. She left Syria knowing little of what her future life in America would entail. Thirty years later, I can say with certainty that my mom is just as American as anyone I know. The United States gave her the chance to make a new life for herself. At the same time, she never forgot where she came from. That is the beauty of the American story.
The Statue of Liberty sits in New York Harbor, facing the rest of the world. Inscribed on a plaque are the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” For centuries, America has given hope to the hopeless of the world. It’s why I’ve always believed that we are an exceptional nation.
Immigrants have been the foundation of America for almost 250 years. Despite the wishes of our president, I know that they will continue to be for the next 250.