Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen tons of Facebook posts, articles and memes about how doctors who hold green cards were deported or were unable to re-enter the U.S. after the executive order was announced.
It is absolutely ridiculous and horrifying that these physicians were unable to re-enter the U.S. under the “Muslim Ban,” but it is equally sad and ridiculous when other hard-working immigrants, green card holders and refugees were unable to re-enter the U.S. and don’t have a medical degree. These hard-working people include taxi drivers, small business owners, janitorial workers, fast-food workers and even those who were not privileged enough to attend a college and only hold high school degrees. Their lives are valuable. Their fear, sadness and anger are justifiable. They deserve the same respect, security and love as the other immigrants who are highlighted as being model citizens because they have a medical or engineering degree. The classism and unintentional degrading comments need to stop.
I’m not undermining the importance of medical doctors. I understand the long hours and years of training and rigorous schooling. I have a high respect for those in the medical field for their commitment and hard work. But I am getting sick of seeing how in our communities we practically worship those with certain degrees and professions while dismissing others.
These hard-working people include taxi drivers, small business owners, janitorial workers, fast-food workers and even those who were not privileged enough to attend a college and only hold high school degrees.
While we are at it, stop forcing your child to become a doctor when he or she wants to major in film or art or journalism. If you do so, then don’t complain that Muslims don’t have a say in the media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard condescending and offensive statements by people when I was in college because I majored in English and communication and *gasp* did my master’s in education. “Oh, cool, that’s easy.” “What are you going to do with an English degree?” “Journalists don’t get paid a lot.” I chose my own degrees and am passionate about what I do — something that many are not fortunate enough to say.
So to the undocumented Muslim waiter who is afraid of deportation, I see you. To the refugee who is cleaning houses and offices to feed his family, I appreciate you. To the taxi driver who is working long hours and who barely sees her children to pay rent, I love you. You are all appreciated. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are what makes America. You are America.