Beyond the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has sought to tarnish the very essence of a nation like the United States, there is another world out there, in the streets, in the squares, at work, in schools, in hospitals, in shopping malls, at home, and in the press.
It is a new world made up by those who claim, everyday, our right to exist in the society where we have forged our history, where millions and millions of immigrants have contributed in every sense.
Our faces, our voices, and our ways of taking part have made significant contributions to this country, where hope and more than a few illusions have been the elements of the historic promise that is the United States. Other communities before us have had opportunities to fully explore that promise, but we have been denied that possibility.
That is why Astrid, your words from last night in response to Trump’s joint address makes us feel that we are not alone, that solidarity is still possible as long as the social fabric to which we already belong cannot be destroyed overnight, that the threat of raids and deportations — the idea of a life in which they want us to run away — will not crush us. “From here nobody goes,” said the old Spanish poet León Felipe.
You are right when you say of us: “Immigrants and refugees are the soul and promise of this country. And we are not alone. “
For every hate-filled speech, for every bad attitude on the streets, for every violent attack on us or one of our families, there is a voice like yours that is multiplied by millions, a voice that cries out incessantly that life is now or never. We must look to that United States, where compassion, respect, and solidarity still offer us a space to move forward. And we must fight for it.