Having spent the majority of my adult life as a global traveler, I’m most thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given to meet people of all backgrounds, religions and walks of life from every continent. I’ve traveled in depth to many countries considered allies and some considered adversaries, yet everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve been welcomed with kindness, curiosity and generosity by the vast majority of the people, regardless of the policies and rhetoric of their political leaders.
These traits of kindness, curiosity and generosity are what I’ve come to know simply as “human nature”, not exclusive to one nationality, ethnicity or religion, but the same basic human goodness that exists in us all. Human goodness truly is everywhere, regardless of how certain groups of individuals are being portrayed by whatever media or leaders’ ideology you follow. We must remember to look for this good in all people, give them the benefit of the doubt and know that these good people need our help now more than ever to speak up against this injustice.
As a global businesswoman and lover of travel, I’ve responsibly moved about the world for 19 years, taking the time and necessary measures to legally obtain required travel and residential visa documentation everywhere I’ve gone. This wasn’t always a simple process, even as an American, the paperwork and vetting could be tedious at a minimum, or excessive in cases like Iran, but regardless the country, I could always count on getting off of my plane, going through the immigration lines and returning to the comforts of my own home, because I was entitled to be there having taken care of the residential legalities.
With one careless signature, no logistical planning and very little thought towards the global repercussions, the United States, a beacon of freedom in the world, has denied the right to enter to so many who are legally entitled to reside here, under the deceptive name of “National Security”. Productive members of our community who have worked and resided here for years were turned away along with good people who finally got their chance to escape hell on earth for a taste of our freedom.
I’m grateful for the example of freedom that the US has set globally over my entire lifetime. That freedom has inspired many great minds to immigrate here, be leaders in our society, innovate and flourish alongside natural born Americans. It’s inspired so many of our allies to have modeled their foreign and homeland policies after ours, including Thailand, which permitted this American Girl to enter 4 years ago and meet a kind, curious and generous Iranian Boy who later became my fiancé. Now, as we’re in the comfort of our home in the US, after Nima passed 2 years of immigration vetting, there will be no returning to Thailand anytime soon nor departing the United States due to this “Muslim Travel Ban”, but my concern is not for us. We’ll be fine.
My concern is that the denial of immigrants is not only against our American values, but this denies the glimmer of hope that exists in the masses around the world. Many of who will never set foot in the United States, but they look towards us on a daily basis as a beacon of freedom, whether via US invented social media, Hollywood movies or their trusted American media source, our image as Americans above all is Freedom. If we allow this weak and uniformed measure to close our doors to the good people of the world, then we risk extinguishing that glimmer of hope around the world and that hope is our number one ally in the fight for all things good.
In simple business terms, the brand of the United States of America offers Hope to billions worldwide and our President’s actions are chipping away at the brand strength, allowing competitors to enter the market. If our President is as good of business man that he claims to be, why would he want to destroy the brand strength of his strongest brand?