My Story: Being a Refugee


Nyajuok Lam | Contributing Writer

Since I was little, my family and I had to work hard to survive. For example, I remember having to take care of my four siblings for a month as my mom and dad found work in another town so the family could have food. At the time, it was all I knew. Education was not an option, but we managed. Soon, we had the opportunity to come to the United States. As I heard this news, I felt happy. I had heard of the freedom that Americans experienced daily, and I wanted a part of that. I want to be able to work hard for my education and be my own person. I believe many of the refugees that live in the US want to work and provide for their families, which is the reason why I am upset with Trump’s immigration law.

I understand the trouble America has with terrorists, but I do not believe this is the way to prevent such a thing. As Trump bans people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, he is labeling anyone living there as a terrorist. The troubling thing is that this ban does not prevent terrorism. Within the past 15 years, the major US terrorist attacks have not been carried out by people from any of these seven countries. In fact, many of the terrorist attacks have been by individuals from the US. Aside from picking the wrong countries, I believe the ban is dehumanizing. It makes me, as a refugee, feel like I bring shame to the US, when all I bring is hard work and the pure opportunity to provide for myself and my family.

I have heard of many using the phrase “Make America Great Again,” and I feel sorry for those individuals who believe in what Trump is fighting for. Aside from the bullying that I feel from Trump, I believe America is missing out on great individuals who could bring great minds to the country. As someone who has dealt with the hardships of Sudan, I can tell you that there are many refugees who absolutely believe in education, because they believe it is their way out of poverty, but they will never get that chance because Trump has banned their country from coming to America. Trump has taken their freedom to travel to a once better place and strive, making themselves the best that they can be. If this is how we “Make America Great Again,” then we have lost our way. We have stooped to the levels of those countries who hate us for especially these reasons. We are also preventing diversity within our nation.

For those individuals who understand how wrong this situation is, I ask that you keep holding on to that hope. I ask that you strive to be fair and to be loving to your neighbors. We are the only ones left to stand against this ungrateful act that is being done to us by our president.

Graphic by: Haylie Book