Photo by Lili Kibel

Dear President Trump

I am a 16 year-old girl born and raised in Beijing, China, and I immigrated to the United States four years ago with my parents. During these four years of my new life in California, I experienced homesickness, cultural clashes, and a lot of other feelings that many immigrants can probably relate to. As a first-generation immigrant, I, along with other new immigrants, have been paying very close attention to your immigration policies. I am a legal immigrant who sympathizes and worries about how your policies will change the lives of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

A few days ago, my relative who also lives in Los Angeles, told me a story about his former housekeeper, who was an illegal immigrant from China. Because he couldn’t get a driver’s license, he rode a bike to work. Illegal immigrants work very hard in low-wage jobs, so although the housekeeper worked tirelessly, he earned scarcely any money. He had a terrible lawyer who tricked him into paying huge amounts of money by claiming that he would get a green card. The housekeeper’s dream job has always been to become a reporter in the U.S., but as an illegal immigrant, he must work so much harder than most people just to survive. After he left my relative’s house, he became a reporter at a small news station in the U.S. Several years later, during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, my relative saw the housekeeper on TV interviewing one of the athletes. It was a very special moment for everyone in the family because his dream finally came true after so much hard work.

This story led me to think a lot more about illegal immigration, and their fearful future. Hoping to find a well-thought-out plan or even a possible solution, I decided to look deeper into some of your policies concerning this issue. I disagree with your plan to expeditiously remove illegal immigrants without first allowing them to see a judge. Illegal immigrants are humans too, and they have basic human rights just like everyone. It is a violation of human rights and morals to deport people without allowing them to speak up for themselves first. “Someone could be living in Chicago for a year and a half and then be swept off the street by an ICE agent,” said the director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Lee Gelernt, in an article on the New York Times. “He is going to be detained and removed right away without ever seeing a judge.” (Trump’s Immigration Policy Explained, NYTimes). I am shocked by your plan to tear families apart in order to deport illegal immigrants. How can a child live in a foreign country without his or her parents? How can the parents survive without knowing whether or not their child is safe? Separating children from their parents is absolutely immoral. Under President Obama’s administration, moral decisions were taken into consideration: “Leon Fresco, a former DOJ official in President Barack Obama’s administration, said the previous administration considered, but ultimately rejected, the move.” (Daniella Diaz, CNN). Fresco continued to say that it is always preferable to keep the family as a unit instead of tearing them apart. However, under your current administration, several inhumane decisions are made without considering the fact that illegal immigrants are humans too. I understand that illegal immigration is a debatable issue, but you must also take into consideration the moral aspects of your policies.

Krupa Gohil, a young pharmacist whom I interviewed at the arts district, expresses her concern and disbelief on how your policies encourage discrimination of people based on their skin color: “I’ve had a couple patients say that they don’t trust me based off of how I look. I had one patient who said ‘I don’t trust her because she’s with ISIS’. For somebody to think that I’m an ‘other’, when I’m a full U.S. citizen, is kind of disheartening”.

I feel an urgent need for you to address the moral aspects of illegal immigration. I strongly feel that your policies on illegal immigration are too extreme; your immigration policies should vary from person to person. For example, those who have committed crimes before must be deported. However, illegal immigrants with clean records should participate in building a great America.

I am hopeful that you will show us that you are a wise,sensible and open-minded president willing to embrace other people’s differences. If so, you will make America great just like you promised.

Sincerely,

Sue Luo