Friday, May 20, 2005

Emma Lazarus

Today, I was reviewing a client file dealing with an appeal of an order of deportation for failure to show a credible fear of persecution if the person is returned to their home country. On one of the forms you fill out when you request political asylum, it asks you why you came to America (as opposed to say, Canada or Belgium or New Zealand) to ask for asylum. This person had written his answer in large, careful capital letters that stood out in stark opposition to the scrawling script of the rest of his answers:


My heart wrenched. I've never been particularly Amero-centric. I don't think America is "God's Country" and I know how very imperfect a country it is. There are lots of other countries where freedom rings, and perhaps even rings louder than it now does across these fruited plains. But there is something so nakedly hopeful about this man's simple explanation for why he left behind family, friends, and the professional career that he cannot practice here without starting his education from scratch, hopped on a plane, and walked out into a scary new culture and language.

I love what I'm doing because I can make an enormous impact on someone's life. Hopefully, my work will help this man to stay here, in Freedom Country.


At 9:25 AM , Blogger J said...

In Reagan's farewell address, he talked about refugees, boat people, seeing an Navy vessel and shouting, "American sailor! Freedom man!" I love that story. Thanks for reminding me of it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home