232015Nov

Joseph Diaz: All our families were immigrants once

I am angered and frustrated that the United State is turning down Syrian refugees. I understand the fear that many Americans have due to terrorist acts, but we must not turn our backs on individuals who are seeking refuge, in search of a better life in America. You cannot punish a whole group based on individual acts. If that were the case, all U.S. citizens would have to be punished for our involvement in the Trail of Tears or the Japanese internment camps.
America is a land of immigrants. Prof. Douglas S. Massey highlights the different push-pull factors that make people migrate, whether due to military intervention or economic interest. We must not shut down our borders because America was founded as a land of opportunity. As an American born of Mexican immigrant parents, I am an example that not all people are the same. I did not turn to a life of crime, as many believe Mexican immigrants do; instead I am a fourth-year student at UC Merced. If my parents had not migrated, I would not have these opportunities. Open our borders, accept Syrian refugees who just want the safety, security and freedom only found in America.
JOSEPH DIAZ, MERCED
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