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Not All Trump: A Conservative’s Take on Immigration

Photo: Courtesy of abcnews.com
Photo: Courtesy of abcnews.com
Being a conservative Republican during this election is a tricky dance. Everyone is interested in who you plan to vote for because the only Republican candidate is, well, kind of an idiot. If you say that you’re voting for him, you are labeled an ignorant racist, regardless of your motives. If you vote for Hillary, you are being unfaithful to your party and probably to most of your values.
Immigration and refugee acceptance is one of the main issues of this election. Trump wants to not only deport illegal immigrants, but also to ban Muslims from this country while we face terrorist attacks from extremist Muslims. Hillary Clinton and current President Obama wish to allow as many refugees into the country as we can take, citing our country’s history as a refuge for the poor, huddled masses. Which we are – the United States is, in my opinion, the greatest country in the world. In no other place is there such diversity and union between different cultures and ethnicities. I, personally, am all for immigration. LEGAL IMMIGRATION.
Legal immigration is part of what built this country. People gave their last dime to escape persecution in their own countries. My grandparents tell me repeatedly the story of my ancestor who came from Ireland during the famine at the age of 16. He paid for his passage with a horse. However, he, and most other immigrants of the time, worked their fingers to the bone to provide themselves and their families with the life that they dreamed of.
The biggest problem that I have with illegal immigration is that many of these people, including refugees, live off of the government, a.k.a. our tax money. They expect the American dream to fall into their laps, but other groups, as I mentioned previously, came to this country in much the same state as the refugees and other immigrants. They were starving, scared, and severely discriminated against, even in America.
The dream can only be reached through adversity and through hard work. It can also be reached with assimilation, which refugees such as the Syrians and other Middle Eastern groups seem to find difficult. Assimilation, to clarify, is NOT letting loose your cultural traditions and religion. It is recognizing that you have moved to a different country for a reason, and you must follow the laws and values that come with your new home. If you plan to sell drugs, to bomb, or to terrorize, you should not be here. Plain and simple.
A wonderful example of successful and complete assimilation are the parents of the Muslim soldier Humayun Khan, who was killed in action in 2004. Their names are Khizr Muazzam Khan and Ghazala Khan. You may recognize them as speakers from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Muazzam, the soldier’s father, touched the whole nation with his address, and even pulled out his pocket copy of the Constitution, pulling at the strings of my cold, dead, Republican heart. Their son, a hero, fought and died for his new home, and he and his parents are perfect examples of Muslim Americans who have every single right to be here.
The United States has been a refuge for the scared, the starving, and the persecuted since its founding. The immigrants of all nations have built this country on their own backs, and through their painstaking and often agonizing work they have reached the mythical American dream. Every gift that my parents, grandparents, and I have received has come from the sweat of an ancestor. This dream, this beautiful life of freedom, can and should only be reached through hard work and acceptance of American values.

About the author

Katie McGarrity '17