Letter: Hassan M. Ahmad, Sterling

Editor: President Trump is out of touch with the country on immigration. According to a new Fox News poll, 50 percent of Americans think immigration enforcement under the Trump administration has “gone too far.” You know the national mood is changing when the president’s favored network contradicts him.
 
For his 2016 campaign, Trump ran on a harsh anti-immigrant platform, referring to immigrants as criminals and inciting chants to “build a wall.” And when he won, some analysts concluded his vow to reduce the number of immigrants entering the U.S. indeed helped him secure the Oval. Now the Fox poll suggests he’s gone too far.
 
Trump ended a program protecting young immigrants brought to this country as children from deportation. But the majority of Americans—73 percent—would rather those Dreamers be granted documented status to remain here. The majority of Americans also think allocating more agents to the U.S.-Mexico border is a better solution than building a wall or imposing tariffs. Yet the president has spent years trying to do the exact opposite. 
 
I witnessed it firsthand on January 27th, 2017 when I walked into Washington Dulles International Airport. Just one week after he was sworn into office, Trump signed the executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. I’ve spent 16 years fighting for immigrants as an attorney. But that night my work became personal. I am a Muslim lucky enough to be born on American soil. But had fate dealt me a different hand, all that I’ve achieved—opening my own law firm and serving as an advisor on the Virginia Asian Advisory Board—would not have been possible. 
 
Since then, the attacks on immigration have continued. In addition to rescinding protections for Dreamers, this administration is threatening to deport Temporary Protected Status holders and has drastically reduced the number of refugee resettlements. Last year they started separating families at the border. Today, thousands of migrant children are living in squalid conditions. 
 
The midterm election results—during which Republicans suffered the largest midterm popular-vote defeat in history—were the first proof that Americans don’t want immigration policies that separate families and threaten young people. Three Virginia congressional districts, along with 40 others nationwide, flipped to Democratic control.
 
The midterms demonstrated Virginians see the value immigrants bring. Just look at the more than 71,100 foreign-born entrepreneurs who have created more than 168,000 jobs in our state, according to the bipartisan nonprofit New American Economy.  The fact is, our state is growing more diverse. Loudoun County, where I’ve raised my children for 12 years, added more foreign-born residents than any other major county in the United States between 2010 and 2016. And we’ve added 13,000 foreign-born voters just in the last two years. 
 
Immigration is going to be a central issue in the 2020 election. Virginia voters and others across the country will be deciding who to support in the coming months. And the data shows they want candidates who will fight for values of empowerment and inclusivity. 

Hassan M. Ahmad, Sterling

2 thoughts on “Letter: Hassan M. Ahmad, Sterling

  • 2019-07-24 at 12:36 pm
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    “Last year they started separating families at the border.” In reality, that was Obama’s policy.

    Be that as it may, how did our failed immigration policy work out for Nabra Hassanen or Danny Centino-Miranda? You’re from Sterling Mr. Ahmad. Surely you know the names of these two children — Nabra, brutally assaulted, beat with a baseball bat, and left dead in a drainage pond in Sterling. And Danny, gunned down at a Sterling school bus stop.

    Both 1,000% preventable as those who murdered them should never have been anywhere near Loudoun County in the first place. Except congress is unwilling to do it’s job of protecting people like me, and you, and Nabra, and Danny, or the “foreign-born” (separatists lingo) folks.

    All of the “foreign-born”, as you call them, (I call them Americans) folks I know think the U.S. is losing it’s marbles by allowing the insanity of open boarders.

  • 2019-07-24 at 3:29 pm
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    Readers have to wonder Mr. Ahmad’s research capability as an immigration lawyer when Mr. Manthos, obviously an informed citizen, was so easily able to correct him on the different immigration practices of the last two presidential administrations. What Mr. Ahmad seems to overlook is that most Americans, and I would also argue, President Trump who married an immigrant, have no concerns with immigrants. However, as good citizens we are dedicated to uphold the law. Im sure that is President Trump’s intention as the head of our executive branch, whose primary responsibly is to enforce the law. This requires to deport all those who are in the United States illegally and to protect those that are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. We all know that any changes to the law or new laws is the responsibility of Congress, so Mr. Ahmad’s concern should be directed at Congress.

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