#MoreThanALabel – Why I Stand Up for Immigrant Rights – #DumpTrump

I am participating in #MoreThanALabel: Immigrant Stories, Simmons College’s online MSW Program’s campaign to promote transcending labels. My participation in the campaign includes sharing my take on the immigrant story and how I believe we can shatter the stigmas often attributed to immigrant communities.

The United States has always been a country of immigrants and I do not see that changing any time soon. I was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx. My family is Puerto Rican. I have never had to worry about my citizenship, but I know the discrimination my Latino brothers face every day. Immigrants in the U.S. are not just Latino, they are Asian, African, European, Middle Eastern, etc. Latinos happen to be the most visual immigrant group, however there are many immigrants from all over the world who come to the United States for a chance to live the American Dream.

I once worked as a human resources administrator for a restaurant in Brooklyn and met and worked with many immigrants, mainly Latino, who were committed staff members with excellent work ethics. They were the backbone of the business and I gained a great deal of respect for my fellow Latinos working hard for their families and contributing to society.

However, as Donald Trump sees America, immigrants are mainly Mexican who are bringing in the drugs, crime, and are rapists. Mr. Trump has gained much traction on his presidential bid because unfortunately there are many Americans who share his warped image of today’s immigrant.

Currently, there is a group of Latinos protesting NBC’s decision to have Donald Trump host Saturday Night Live. I support this protest wholeheartedly and applaud Congressman Luis Gutiérrez for his strong support of the Dump Trump movement.

“Having Donald Trump as a guest on every news and entertainment program is one thing, but allowing him to host Saturday Night Live is another,” said Rep. Gutiérrez in a press release.  “It is a level of endorsement that says to America that every hateful and racist thing Donald Trump has said since the moment he launched his campaign is acceptable and no big deal.”

Not all immigrants are Latino. Not all Latinos are immigrants. I’m a proud Latino citizen of Puerto Rican descant and I stand with my undocumented brothers and sisters and support strong immigration reform.

Immigrants built this country and deserve more recognition for their contribution. There is strength in diversity and I truly hope we can collectively lessen America’s anti-immigrant ripple before it becomes a worrisome wave.

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About Phil Velez

writer, blogger, & communication professional
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