LETTER: A 12-year-old immigrant’s thoughts on the U.S. travel ban

'This order should not exist in a country that the first constitutional rule of it was freedom of religion.'

LETTER: A 12-year-old immigrant's thoughts on the U.S. travel ban

Shervin Azar, 12, came to Canada from Iran four years ago. Since that time, Shervin has learned the language and written a book called Dare to Dream. Last week, the Abbotsford resident appeared on a panel with four others (all adults) during the Youth Forum on Character at UFV. The News asked Azar his thoughts on Donald Trump’s travel ban – now temporarily halted by the courts – that sought to ban immigrants from seven U.S. countries, including Iran.

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Imagine that you are a little refugee or immigrant kid coming to the U.S. with your parents.

Your whole body’s been filled with happiness as you’ve been dreaming that when you get there, you’re going to go to school, make some new friends and live like a normal person free of tension and pressure.

Everything seems to be going well until the border patrol tells you, “Sorry! There has been a new travel order ban that President Trump has just signed.”

Right at that moment, you realize all your hopes and dreams have been crushed and there is no hope for you.

In the 21st Century, people have to unite together and make the world a better place; that is why you have to make bridges instead of banning people and making walls. Trump’s seven-country travel ban also includes my country of origin (Iran), and I have seen reportedly a lot of terrible effects on my own community as well.

I really feel disappointed. I feel sad and angry because why do immigrants like me and my parents have to get banned and pay the price of international relationship conflicts?

Besides, are we supposed to control where we are born? It’s not our fault!

I still see America as a fantastic country and great people but they have a not-so-great president. It’s not fair to discriminate against a few nations and penalize a whole group of people for such unclear and unexamined claims.

If you want to make America safe just ban guns because that’s the major thing that can hurt people, not innocent immigrants and refugees.

There has even been a little bit of effect on my own family because my aunt has applied for an American visa and she had an interview but now she has been left in the dark and has to wait until we see what will happen next.

This will create huge gaps in countries like the U.S. and Canada – countries originally established on diversity and across multicultural divisions.

It’s crucial to make sure to point to common shared values rather than differences; otherwise, we create hate instead of love.

This order should not exist in a country that the first constitutional rule of it was freedom of religion.

Donald Trump has described this order preventing terrorist attacks. Well, put yourself in an American citizen’s shoes: From now on in public, if you see a person from one of these seven countries or even a Muslim, you will look at them differently. Even the children: when they hear about this order, it will definitely have a huge impact on their minds and it will be very hard to change their mindset when they grow up.

This will divide the country religiously and this will also be a great gift to Islamic extremist groups as they will have now a big excuse to mislead and brainwash their supporters.

I see that President Trump is claiming to make America safe and great again but this way seems neither safer no greater will be accomplished and it might be ended up with even worse and chaos considering he is messing with something way more sensitive and complicated:

– Shervin Azar

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