Last week, immigrants across the country stayed home from work, closed their businesses and kept their children home from school to show the world what an America without immigrants would really look like.
Many businesses throughout Framingham and surrounding towns were closed for the day, and photos of empty classrooms went viral.
Here at FSU, a large number of students and faculty showed their support for the strike by wearing all black and participating in a rally sponsored by a number of clubs and departments on campus.
We at The Gatepost would also like to pledge our support for and solidarity with all the immigrants of this country.
From the very beginning, immigrants have been the backbone of America. The British, who founded this country, came to this land in search of the same dream that many immigrants who come here today are after – the promise of a better life.
This is what the United States was built upon – the desire to create and contribute to a country where all people are free and equal.
This America, that so many have dreamed about and worked for, is still a work in progress.
The fact of the matter is, we cannot continue this progress without immigrants.
And while our nation’s immigration process is far from ideal, we must recognize that immigrants are among this nation’s biggest assets.
Over 42 million immigrants live and work in the United States, according to migrationpolicy.org. They start major tech companies such as Google, eBay and Yahoo. They own small businesses and participate in our economy. They are our professors, landlords, leaders and neighbors.
And yet, they have always been blamed for our nation’s issues. Many argue they steal jobs from citzens and are major proponents of drug dealing and crime.
No one perpetuates these stereotypes more than President Donald Trump. In an interview with Fox News, he said Mexican immigrants are “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
It is time to do away with these false narratives, and stop scapegoating those so easily condemned, especially those who contribute so much to this country.
In these tumultuous times, as the Trump administration is heading toward implementing stronger and perhaps more questionable immigration orders, we can’t lose sight of our nation’s unique cultural and economic identity.
We are confident that you will find some of your most trusted friends and colleagues are either immigrants themselves or are first- or second-generation Americans.
So, get to know your neighbors, co-workers, professors and employers. Get to know our very own University President, F. Javier Cevallos, a shining example of what immigrants have to offer our country.
We should never forget the millions of immigrants who make this country the world power it is.
We need to stand by our fellow Americans, whether they were born here or not.