An immigrant woman recently asked: “What do you think will happen to immigrants here? Do you think it will be like the Holocaust in Germany?” This question is for all of us to answer.
The Nov. 10 Olympian had a front page story: “They voted for Trump – now their immigrant neighbors are gone.“ It quoted the Long Beach Police Chief, a supporter of our president, who thought the new immigration policies would remove criminals but discovered that one of his friends, a hard-working immigrant deeply involved in the community there, was deported. Immigrant families are being broken apart. Immigrants in all our communities live in fear now and need our support.
In our local community, a well-respected community member, Zahid Chaudhry, is at risk of being deported to Pakistan where his life could be at very high risk because of his service in the U.S. military. Even though he is a U.S. military veteran and married to a U.S. citizen, legal technicalities could have Zahid ripped from and deported from our community where he has done amazing volunteer work to improve local conditions and support for nonviolent social change. What will be our response?
In the 1930s in Germany, most German citizens kept their heads down and were silent. Is that what we will do here with attacks on immigrants, or will we stand up and say to Homeland Security, “No!” And like the words of the Spiritual: “Let My People Go!”?