Refugees Welcome

Kaity Van Riper
Posted March 21, 2019 from United States

I'm a United States citizen. I didn't do anything to earn it, didn't have to travel to get here. I have a small, modest, but comfortable home, large enough for my family of four. I call it small by American standards, but I'm sure many people throughout the globe would call it a mansion.

We have food on our table every night. Even when money is tight, "no food" just means we have to resort to the canned tuna or pasta in the back of the pantry.

I can say what I want freely. I can come and go as I please (mostly, as I am a mother). I can dress as I choose and pray without persecution.  

I'm incredibly lucky, which I take for granted too often.

Another woman was born in Syria, her country war torn, she flees for her life. Someone else was born in Mexico. Her children are hungry and in danger. And another woman in North Korea. 

Not one of us chose our circumstances.  I did nothing right to live so comfortably.  They did nothing wrong to suffer so much.

I feel sick and ashamed at the red, white and blue nation of Donald Trump.  How dare we close borders, build walls, turn away those in need. Lady Liberty once stood as a beacon of hope as the "tired, the poor, huddled masses" were welcomed to Ellis Island. Today, her hands are tied,  forbidden to lift her arms in a welcoming embrace.  

Have we Americans lost all sense of humanity? Perhaps. We've forgotten our own roots. We are also afraid. And so, we turn everyone outside our hypothetical walls into "the other".  

I urge my own people to stop. Stop being afraid. Look. Do we see our own, scared children in the eyes of a refugee child? Do we see our mother in the wrinkled face of a woman who has lost everything? Do we see our sister, who would do anything to get her children the medical help needed? 

We are not so different.  We all just want the same things. To my sisters out there today, all over the world. Please know,  i dont deserve what I have. You are stronger and braver than I could ever be. 

You are in my heart and prayers today. I will fight for you. Just know, in my heart and my home, you are always welcome. 

This story was submitted in response to Change Starts With a Story.

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Mar 22, 2019
Mar 22, 2019

Hi Kaity,

How are you doing? Thanks again for sharing your story. Good luck with your story submission:-)

Hope you have a great weekend:-)

Nnenna Hannah okoh-Metu
Mar 23, 2019
Mar 23, 2019

You story is lifting,thanks for sharing...

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Mar 24, 2019
Mar 24, 2019

Hi Kaity,
Thank you for this beautiful article. It is true that we didn't choose where to be born or our circumstances. and it is very sad that President Trump has decided to close the borders at a very crucial time for those who need Americas help.
Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely day.

Wusufor
Mar 25, 2019
Mar 25, 2019

Hope you are doing well? Thanks for sharing this with us.
Take care

Beth Lacey
Mar 26, 2019
Mar 26, 2019

You give hope to others through your writing on World Pulse.

leila Kigha
Apr 29, 2019
Apr 29, 2019

We all deserve compassion.
Thank you for sharing.

nceducator
Aug 20, 2019
Aug 20, 2019

Many of us share your sentiments. I so agree with you about feeling shame for Trump. Sometimes I cannot believe the words coming out of his mouth, often filled with insensitive comments about immigrants. I'd go so far as to say that his rhetoric has inflammed people to do massing shootings targeting Hispanics. So tragic. Praying that a new, compassionate administration will come in to improve the situation.

Mbabazi
Aug 22, 2019
Aug 22, 2019

Hi Sister Kaity,
I am really touched by your understanding! If there is some bad memories i ever hard i my mind; is when i was a refugee since 4years to 8years Old! It was such a bad experience of my life.
I remember putting on one dress for almost 4months, sleeping hungry without expecting the next day and many more...
I always pray for the people having hard time today to overcome and always hope for the bright future.

Thanks for sharing!

Mbabazi

otahelp
Nov 26, 2019
Nov 26, 2019

Hey Kaity you are so clear about everything you wrote. i understand you very clearly. Most times we do not chose where we are born or where we end up but we can actually give a helping hand. thank you i really appreciate how you feel about the restrictions. We never can really understand some people, can we?

Anita Shrestha
Nov 27, 2019
Nov 27, 2019

Thank you for sharing