When I became an American citizen, it was because I believed in the values that the United States represents: freedom, opportunity, and equality. As a girl growing up in India, my family gave me whatever they could.
However, in order to thrive and live a life with those basic rights, I moved halfway around the world to Minnesota to seek my American Dream.
I found a community that welcomed me and showed me that all I had heard about my adopted country was true. It was a place where I could learn and grow, eventually giving back over 25 years of public service. I love America, and the hundreds of people who take the oath of citizenship each year are all becoming Americans for the same reasons I did: freedom, opportunity, and equality.
Now we have seen you undercut these values by reinstating parts of the Trump Administration’s travel ban on people from six predominantly Muslim countries, sending thousands into another round of legal limbo. Where is freedom if people from certain countries are deprived of the right to travel to America? Where is opportunity if refugees, those who need our help the most, are one of the groups not allowed to come to the “land of the free”? And where is equality if only citizens of Muslim countries are banned?
Washington State has already declared that such discrimination threatens the rights and proper privileges that people here hold dear. It harms the public welfare and hurts our economy. King County has always strongly opposed excluding anyone based on religion or country of origin; the path of inclusion has been my pledge and promise.
As we grapple with this new plot twist in the ongoing saga of immigration policies, I urge you to deeply consider the titles of the positions you hold – justices. We must make sure that justice is upheld for those who need justice and compassion the most. Stay true to our American Dream and show those who look to our country for guidance that we haven’t lost our way.
— Preeti Shridhar
American Citizen Since 2000