Hi friends, apologies for the radio silence. It’s been a topsy turvy January to say the least.
You may have spotted on Instagram, that I took a very last minute trip to America to spend time with my family. When I arrived in Seattle two weeks ago, the Customs & Immigration officer simply said,”Welcome Home.”
I’ll admit it, for me, this expat (but really a modern-day immigrant) the UK is really where I feel at home and settled, in my new home country.
The UK is where I’ve created my roots: my beloved husband (and dog), have a career, own my home… my life. And whenever I travel, and reenter the UK, I present my SET(M) visa allowing my permanent residency here in the UK.
For many immigrants, their new ‘home’ is the United States of America. But now, with the enacted Muslim ban, many Muslims can’t return to their home in the US. To deny entry of legal immigrants, who have gone through the visa or greencard process, based on country of origin or religious faith breaks my heart and has me feeling sheer disbelief.
Emigrating to a new nation takes courage and conviction. To leave your home country behind for a new life, without knowing what lies on the horizon.
Emigrating takes time, patience and financial commitment. For many immigrants, myself included, have invested months in the waiting for the final decision… not to mention the thousands of dollars in fees. (Moving ya’ll it isn’t cheap.)
Emigrating to a new country takes faith. Faith that your new host country is welcoming and warm.
Right now, in the country where I hold my passport and citizenship, is denying Muslim immigrants from 7 countries access to return to the US (if they are traveling abroad) or legally granted visas and greencards. This cannot stand in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Families are being separated. Students can’t return to school. Brilliant engineers, doctors, lawyer and world famous athletes (like Mo Farah) can’t return to where they call home.
The ban also includes migrants who are seeking refugee asylum in the US, from life threatening situations — like in Syria. These migrants are in the most critical need for help, and the ban refuses granting asylum which has been a critical part of acceptance and diversity for America.
On the Statue of Liberty, it is written:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
We cannot allow feelings of discouragement to allow this ban to stand, and represent how many Americans are feeling. It’s time to speak up, stand up and make our voices heard.
Just as emigrating takes courage and conviction, patience and faith.. so does the resistance against the Muslim Ban.
The world is watching, including this American immigrant watching from Wales and hoping that justice prevails over intolerance.
Let’s have our voices heard, and support organisations like the ACLU which are leading the legal fight for the immigrants facing potential deportation.
Above all, let’s love one another, treat each other with kindness and open hearts rather than fear.
My love and light to you…