Article:Living in the Gray | Ruth Thomas, Michigan USA

The topic of immigration has always been one that’s been sensitive to me. But, not in the way it is for most of my friends – especially my American friends.

In light of all of the attention illegal immigration has been getting over the past couple days and the last presidential election, I’d like to share my point of view as an Indian immigrant who has spent most of my life on a foreign visa.

I believe when individuals get so emotionally charged about this situation you have to bare in mind both sides of the story.

Coming to this country for most immigrants (legally or illegally) is a choice. And you make a conscious effort to be here. For my family and I, that happened in 2000 and we stayed here till 2009. So I can safely say, I spent the majority of my childhood in the United States.

In 2009, however, my family lost legal status to stay in the United States and my parents had a choice to make. They could either stay here illegally with their 15 year old, 14 year old, and 12 year old or they could go back to India and see what
happens there. Granted at this point in my life, I had only spent 2 years of my life in India and barely spoke the language. My dad didn’t have a job to go back to, and my brothers and I had spent the majority of our schooling in the American education system.

It was not an easy choice but my parents did not want to break the law of the country they were currently residing in, so we left.

I’m not saying that every immigrant family’s situation is the same. I understand that a lot of families, especially those crossing the southern border, are coming here because they may not really have a choice. But please, friends, bear in mind that every action has a consequence – good or bad.

That being said, I don’t think what is currently happening at the border is right. It is never okay to separate families. However, we need to remember that this is not something new that is happening in the States. Children of incarcerated parents have been separated and put in foster care systems for years in the United States.

Does it make this system right or just? No. But I also don’t think pointing the finger without fully assessing the situation or comprehending the full context of the reality is right either.

We want change. Yes. But change is not going to come by simply calling out the wrongs of the world. You need to introduce right. Illegal immigration is a problem in this country and
we to find a way to address the situation in a way that is moral and upright.

Quite frankly, I am so tired of the one-sidedness of every point of view that is being aired, from the gung-ho Trump supporters all the way to the Trump haters.

Come on guys, wake up! There is no black and white answer, we live in the gray and we need to start figuring out how to operate in it; in a way that is humane and fair and just. Please.

I’m done with my rant, but if you get anything out of this post please let it be this:

 Don’t jump to conclusions without looking and assessing both sides of the situation.

 Sometimes the consequences of the actions people take are not nice (but we can’t pick and choose to whom, when and how the law is enforced).

 Yes, the current American and, quite frankly, global political situation is not ideal, but instead of just calling out the ugly in the picture, can we try and think about a just way to solve problems at hand?

This is the humble opinion of someone who has been an immigrant her entire life.



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