New laws inhibit equal opportunity

President Donald J. Trump addressed the country Jan. 30 in the annual State of the Union
Address with the promise to build a new, better America  “with American heart, American hands and American grit,” leaving little room for anyone who did not fit the mold.

After a brief mention of helping immigrants who meet specific criteria, most discussion centered around the group’s involvement in gangs, crime and drugs.

There was no talk of the advances or culture immigrants have brought to this country — no chance to prove themselves.

My grandfather entered the United States from the Philippines as an immigrant. He worked hard every day as a janitor to provide for his wife and four children, not a lavish lifestyle but one they loved.

From that immigrant janitor came my mother, a University of Southern California graduate and doctorate degree holder. He did not travel to this country to live a life of crime or laziness but instead passed down the hard work ethic and respect that led my mother into a prosperous career path.   

She then passed along that hard work ethic onto me as I saw more doors open the harder I worked and pushed myself.

“If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything and together, we can achieve anything,” Trump said.

With new immigration laws and walls along our border put in place by Trump, I worry that the perception and mindset toward immigrants will change and prejudices will form. 

As a second-generation American citizen I am aware that I have so many more opportunities in front of me than my grandfather had. I worry that no matter how hard those entering our country may work, they will not have the opportunity to grow and watch their families prosper with new laws being instated.

We must question if opportunities are at an equal playing field for all of an equal work ethic.

When one exhibits a strong work ethic and dedication to grow, their background, race or class should not determine their accessibility to work and opportunities. 

About Lauren Shelburne

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