“For score and seven years ago, our founding fathers set forth a new nation on this continent, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address). The United States is a country rooted in democracy—a place where people come to withstand the test of time, fleeing the perils and persecution they face in their home countries. The United States was founded with an aim of improving the quality of life for citizens of the world, not just of the country. The United States was founded to offer everyone shelter from the blight that has so wrongfully terrorized people in their home countries. People abscond their home countries for the United States with the prospects of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Today, Donald Trump is threatening to wrongfully deny asylum-seekers of their hope of a better life.
President Trump is threatening to charge asylum seekers an insurmountable fee to enter the United States. Many people who seek asylum don’t have the money to purchase food, let alone pay to enter the United States. Such a proposal would deny these people of their hope, preventing them from following the North Star to a better life for their family and children. Preventing America from having what makes it America, its backbone…immigrants.
Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence America has always been about immigrants, which has led to countless innovations, as immigrants are at the center of the American dream and promise. Immigrants have led America to prosperity. For it was Alexander Hamilton the first Secretary of the Treasury and Caribbean immigrant who aided America’s recovery from astronomical debt: “Remember, remember always, for you and I have descended from immigrants an revolutionist” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt). FDR reminded citizens of their origins, he reminded the people that the United States has forever been and will always be a country and society of immigrants—of people destined for the North Star.
On the fateful day that Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address he reminded a distraught country of their purpose—he reminded us of our existence and corporeity, fueling a fire inside American citizens, convincing Americans from across the aisle to fight for liberty, reminding citizens of what the founding fathers and revolutionist died for, liberty. Today, the United States is plagued with Mass Shootings, School Shooting, arson, and shootings in holy places. American citizens have decided to make decisions, violating the right that citizens possess to practice any and all religions. To say and do what they wish.
However, despite the distraught tales of glory, Americans must not be hoodwinked by our supposed history; America has always been a country full of prejudice and injustice. From the Salem Witch Trials in early Puritan times to the early twentieth century, where lynching was an all to common sight to American Citizens. In fact, even the American judicial system, which prized itself on justice for all systems, wrongfully charged African-Americans, signing the death warrant to mockingbirds. As Harper Lee wrote in her acclaimed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird:
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea thaT courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re lickeD before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matteR what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do“ (Harper Lee).
Despite the sheer promise of the United States for years it has been been plagued with injustice and prejudice, convicting minority’s and killing citizens for crimes they didn’t commit. For we must not forget what we were fighting for on the field the Abraham Lincoln stood on to deliver an address which would define the United States. We must not forget that despite our setbacks we have always fought and will always fight for freedom, liberty, and justice for all. And because of this we will not—we shall not—we must not, deny those fleeing persecution a life in the United States. We must not deny people of their right to practice their religion. And we shall not deny innocent civilians of their lives, for all men are created equal in a nation conceived in liberty. For all men and women have and deserve a life free of prejudice and persecution in the United States of America.