SPEAKING OUT: Omega staff members share personal stories on the recent ban affecting immigration and travel

Gayu Menon, News Editor

As the new president of the U.S. took office in early January, many foreigners became tense about the new rules that would be set in place. During election season, President Donald Trump made many remarks towards how he would reduce immigration and/or set strict rules in place for foreigners traveling to America. For a person like myself, who has almost all of their family in a foreign country, it can be very hard to accept the fact that traveling will be such a hassle for my family back in India.

I still remember the day of my brother’s high school graduation. A few of my uncles and my grandmother attained a visa to attend. It was an amazing day for my family, and it was such a proud moment to see my brother graduate. My grandmother was especially proud to see her eldest grandson accept his high school diploma.
That was three years ago. When I walk across the stage to receive my diploma, I wonder who will be there to share the proud moment. I love that my parents and brother will be there, but I would also love for some of my family, that I love dearly, to be able to come support me for my big day.

I am fortunate enough to have a family that can afford to travel back and forth from India as much as they please. Yet, since I have lived in America my entire life, many of my milestones take place here. This can be difficult because many of the moments that are very special to me will now be almost impossible to share with my family back in India.

America is my home and I have no shame in calling it that. Here, I have been given so many opportunities that I am sure I would have never had if I lived anywhere else. But, besides this, it makes me sad to think that the country that has accepted me for who I am is struggling to accept my family.

According to the rules for visiting visas, as of right now they do not greatly impact India, but the stigma that has surrounded it now makes America very displeasing for many. Numerous amounts of people everyday patiently wait for their visa acceptance letters in India. Regardless of what type of visa someone has applied for, the faith they have to go to America has significantly gone down.

Personally, back in India, there is someone that is really special to me. It all started about three years ago and still continues to to grow strong everyday. I have dreamt about the day that we can be together. Live the life that we have always talked about. But, all of our plans were set in America, and now it all seems to fall apart.
From the beginning of our relationship until about six months ago our dreams were never impacted by anything. We never let anything affect us or get in the way. Many of the struggles back then could have been controlled by us, and it was. However, the unfortunate set of rules that are being placed not only wrecks thousands of others dreams but also mine.

The world is not perfect. There are many people that have morally incorrect beliefs. Some have the urge to attack or hurt others in order to get a point through. It is important to stop these attacks from becoming more and more common. However, I do not believe that a limitation to traveling into America can fix this problem.
America has been known as a country of new opportunities. My mom and dad first came to America looking for a better life. It makes me feel discouraged for all the other people in this world that have dreamt of coming here, but now have almost lost all hope. Just because I do not come from the same cultural background as many Americans do, does not give anyone the right to stop my family from coming into my country.

“Liberty and justice for all…” Almost all students recite and/or hear this everyday. This country has always been a place that is open to helping people of all races and religions. That should not change now. As a citizen of this country, I ask you to join me to make this country better, not worse.