What has our nation become?
I've been having a hard time reading the news lately.
And not just because it's sad or overwhelming to me, though both of those things are true.
I'm having a hard time reading the news since President Trump took office, because it's increasingly difficult to figure out what's true, what's real, what's a distraction tactic, and what's propaganda.
No matter which political party you're in (or if you're in one at all) one thing we can all agree on:
It's harder than ever to get the facts.
That's why instead of speaking in broad strokes about things I've read that have upset me, I've dug into one or two real news items at a time and tried to figure out what they mean for our country and its future.
So far, it's been pretty bleak.
Right now I've been grappling with the new H-1B Visa laws that have been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Proponents of the bill believe that it will help American jobs to stay in America.
Unfortunately, it also seems like they can't do that without keeping people OUT of America.
What makes me say that?
Well, one of the provisions of the new H-1B Visa Bill states that people applying for a visa need to make at least $130,000 annually.
I think it's great that we have people in our government who are so concerned with making sure that the American workforce is alive and thriving.
But here's my question.
Why does it have to be at the expense of people who dream of making America their home too?
America isn't like other countries.
We're new, and for as long as we've existed, we have served as a beacon of hope to immigrants.
America is a country of immigrants.
My family didn't start here, we started off in Europe and came over in the hopes of a better life.
The opportunity to come here and do just that, is, in my mind, one of the things that makes America truly great.
The idea behind this bill is that it's supposed to protect American jobs, but in reality, it's changing what America stands for.
As a citizen I have been able to pursue my dreams even though my dreams don't earn me a fortune, why shouldn't Visa holders also be entitled to pursue their dreams?
I don't know how to fix the problem of unemployment in America, I'm not saying I have a magical solution.
But I do think it's my right as an American to be critical and to ask questions about bills that seem to violate everything we stand for.
For fuck's sake, I'm a writer! Regardless of where I was born, if I dreamed of coming to America, chances are I could never make the minimum income to make the cut.
But ask yourself this, if you are a white person: If this provision has affected immigrants when your ancestors came to America, would they have been considered wealthy enough to qualify?
If you believe passionately in your country and consider yourself to be a patriot, how can you support a bill that directly contradicts what's written on the Statue of Liberty?