Students from other countries speak out about the travel ban
What it's like to be an immigrant in America today
March 17, 2017
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Imagine this: you’ve lived in another country all your life; a place where there are different rules, customs and people. Deciding to move to America was hectic and challenging, but you’ve settled in.
United States election time has now passed, and people are panicking, regretting or celebrating. The country has become more divided than before, people are shouting at one another—each one trying to get their opinion heard.
This past year, relations between political parties and even old friends have deteriorated, all of it relating to where and how they were raised. Most of it boils down to choosing between democratic and republican candidates, or even a third party.
Personal tensions are high, so I thought I’d step back from my individual opinions and reach out to students who were raised in other countries.
Caroline Gonzalez, a sophomore from Spain, stated a common Trump sentiment. “A lot of people said, ‘I voted for Trump because I’d rather have a sexist and a racist than a murderer.’” This type of opinion, when voiced in large masses, provided an advantage to the Trump campaign.
“Your political background makes a huge difference,” Caitlin Millard said, a senior from South Africa. “For someone like me, I grew up in a fairly racist society and I myself actively made the decision to not be racist.”
Different backgrounds may breed different perspectives. How you were raised or where you were born most definitely influences your decision-making process.
The United States is admittedly very powerful in military and political background. International news was (and is) booming. “It’s such a big deal, the U.S. is such a big country, known by everyone, and everyone loves the U.S.,” Jessica Pruzin said, a junior from Switzerland.
Something like the election of the new president of the United States includes massive debates and events, leading up to the candidates endgame: inauguration. The race between candidates was furious, each trying to one-up the other. Still, fake news runs rampant and it’s hard to get a clear view on subject matter. What news source did people trust outside of our borders?
“On the international news, a lot of what was happening was that you were hearing both sides of the story from an outside source,” Millard said, when explaining the differences in what was being fed to Americans compared to outside our borders. “You had these contrasting things that were saying different things, whereas international news was being a little bit more unbiased.”
Many have begun categorizing America before and after Trump’s inauguration as Obama’s America and Trump’s America. TIME Magazine designated Trump “President of the divided states of America.” In the past month alone, the amount of reversed laws and acts have left most of the country spinning.
“In Obama’s America, most people felt safe, they felt confident in their rights, they knew what was going to happen was predictable even if they didn’t necessarily agree with it,” Millard said.
Much of the population is uncertain with the dramatic change in our nation’s leadership, calling out the Electoral College and fighting against presidential decisions. “I’d like to say our election here was a joke, but it’s still more civilized than things you can see in other places,” Millard said.
You arrived new to the school, new to the country, new to the culture. The things you learned are being upheaved. Your perspective is beginning to change, because even if it’s not you being singled out, you’re still uncomfortable, thinking, “that could be me.”