The Ban on Human Beings

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Rishav Dasgupta  Note: This article is written from the perspective of a legal resident of this country who is not Muslim or hailing from one of the seven banned countries under the executive order. It is only meant to communicate his worries and concerns. On January 30th of this year, our President signed an executive action that banned the entry of citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries into the United States for 90 days. Stories started popping up of doctors, lawyers, workers– people from essentially every walk of life– being barred from entering the country. Even people with valid green cards or H1B and F1 visas were being blocked. While I am not Muslim or from one of these seven countries, my situation was immediately impacted. I am here in the US on an H4 visa, as a dependent of my parents. We have been here six years, and our lawyers say that our green card is still five years away. I live a dichotomous life that makes me both American and not American at the same time. After all, all my legal documents refer to me as an “alien”. I am not allowed to work or complete internships. I cannot gain a social security number or a state ID. I have learned to accept not being financially independent from my parents. But this executive order changed everything. It clearly sent an anti-immigrant message. The Department of Homeland Security at airports has harassed myself and my family before, but now it is to become worse. Last year, a relative of mine was detained at O’Hare for four hours because the DHS did not “believe” that he was the executive of his company. This order has only worsened the situation. Several of my father’s company’s employees applying for a visa to work here were rejected. It was the first time that it ever happened in the history of their company. In fact, statistics show that less and less people are being accepted for visas, even from the countries that were supposed to be unaffected by the ban. Every few years, my family has to go to the US Consulate in India to renew our visa. This year, we do not know what to do. A release on a possible executive order shows that our President intends to make it for difficult for holders of H-category visas. Unlike years past, it is impossible to rule the chances of denial. We ended up deciding to play it by the year. We will probably end up going since our President is very close to the Indian Prime Minister and we believe that he will not do anything to put current visa holders at risk. However, this dilemma is something that no family should have to face. I sometimes wonder what would it be like if I had no place to go back to. Thankfully, we have houses in India, family and connections that will make it easy for us to resettle if necessary. I cannot even imagine what it would be like if I were fleeing my circumstances and were not allowed into the United States. Now that is true injustice.]]>