Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Refugee Story

My father was born in a DP (displaced person=refugee) camp in postwar Germany. He had no nationality, until he became a naturalized citizen of the US as a teenager.

His parents had survived World War 1, the Russian Revolution, and World War 2. They had strange accents, strange names, and strange customs. They weren't English speakers. They weren't Protestants. They were outsiders, desperately fleeing the misery of postwar Europe, trying to find safety and security.

Despite their differences, the United States welcomed them. Despite their differences, they became Americans. My grandfather went on to become a civilian intelligence analyst for the United States Air Force, helping protect this country at the height of the Cold War. My father, a refugee until he was 4 years old, has worked for Fortune 500 technology companies, helping to secure our financial and medical records. My siblings include an entrepreneur, a psychologist and teacher, an engineer, and a college student.

Our family is part of the tapestry of this great nation. We came here as strangers, we were welcomed, and now we are Americans.

I say fling open the doors. Let them come. They will only make us stronger and richer as a society, and will help us best embody our national values and virtues.

By all means, let them come.


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