What we make of it, that’s what.
In his victory speech, our new President-Elect said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me.” (Emphasis added.)
But what about all the non-citizens of our land?
Trump’s 100-day plan is horrific for immigrants. Deferred action for Dreamers, gone. Prosecutorial discretion, gone. In its place, deportation, detention of men, women, and children, and exclusion based on faith. I fear for a culture that will go from “no” to “hell no.” No doubt, there are dark clouds on the horizon for non-citizens in America.
What does this mean for you, a resilient, enterprising group of people?
First, it’s impossible to tell exactly what will happen. And it further depends on your particular background: your immigration history, time in the US, ties to the community, and yes, your faith. But with the right advice, you can get some answers. So go get the right advice.
Second, some immigrants might not be affected immediately. If that’s you, and you’ve been waiting, your wait is over. Take this as a priority. This is an insurance policy on your life in the United States.
Third, kill your fear, because fear kills your intelligence. You need to make sure you are calm enough to figure out what to do. The new President is surrounding himself with people who know how to create fear. Do NOT be a victim. Never forget that it was a minority of people who elected him into office. The majority of Americans are with you. I’m proud to be one of them.
Fourth, do not run and hide. This is the time to stand together with the majority of Americans who are with you. That’s what the Trump supporters did, and it worked. I know that many of you have survived much worse than this. This is not bigger than you. You can do this. You will do this.
And to the supporters of President-Elect Trump:
Your struggles are every bit as real as the struggles of immigrants in this country. We all want prosperity and security. Problems come when we don’t want for our neighbors what we want for ourselves. Instead of worrying about dividing the pie, let’s bake a bigger one. You were right: you’ve been ignored and passed over for a long time. I strongly agree with what our new President said: you will be forgotten no longer.
But some of you supported him for other reasons, because you thought it would usher in a new America that was closed to people of different races and faiths. If that’s you, know that you will be pushed back into the fringes of society where you belong. America is bigger than your fantasy white utopia, and we’re not some ragtag guerrilla resistance calling for a revolution. We’re Americans.
And finally, to our President-Elect and his new advisors:
You said, “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”
You haven’t yet earned the trust of the majority of Americans. But remember that you will be held to your word, whether you like it or not. Don’t mistake peace building as a sign of surrender. Don’t think your can deport opposing viewpoints. Don’t think you can fire disagreement.
You wanted the White House, you got it.
I wanted to send a message of support to immigrants and allies who might be feeling scared. Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” The six languages I speak in this video are rusty, but I hope it does some good helping to conquer fear.
( PS: turn on subtitles)