Reflecting on the events of the past year, I’m astounded at the extreme changes that I see in my life, our country, and our world, all due to the election of Donald Trump. American kids grew up with songs and tales of hard-won battles for freedom and equality for all, and we believed in those principles.
Many of us still do, but years passed, and we went on with our lives working so hard to stay afloat that we had no time or energy to follow politics, let alone get involved closely. Trump’s election was an alarming wake-up call, and America and the world are watching, and rising-up, against this administration’s many un-democratic actions.
The latest development is an announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that they would terminate the provisional residency permits of 200,000 Salvadorians who migrated to the U.S. legally in 2001 after earthquakes ravaged their country. DHS Secretary Nielson decided that the termination was required, since the original disaster that precipitated their status has been resolved.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, said most of them see themselves much more as American citizens than Salvadorian citizens. Officials repeatedly dismissed questions about the violence and economic conditions that persist in El Salvador, including the MS13 gang that’s been a top target of this administration. They claimed these factors are irrelevant. Senior DHS officials said it is up to Congress to determine a remedy.
Just as this administration has placed the cannabis debate directly into the hands of Congress, they are again calling upon Congress to make a firm decision whether to give long-lasting protection to Salvadorian nationals living in the U.S.
Trump’s administration has exposed many cracks in our fragile democracy, compelling every American to choose sides. I stand in solidarity with Salvadorian nationals, many of whom arrived here legally with their parents as youngsters, and whose unique cultures and talents have been forever woven into the fabric of American society.
We who support a government of the people, by the people, for the people must continue to protest these inhumane decisions. The unintended effect of their actions has united millions of Americans, Dreamers, Protectors, Defenders, Survivors, and Warriors who seek to reignite America’s beacon of light, as our nation is not made strong by her ability to divide and conquer, but by her commitment to upholding her promise of liberty and justice for all.