Donald Trump and immigrants: The world’s a mess, but hope swells!

These Americans realised it was time to wear their heart on their sleeves as they turned out to make sure virtual strangers got the homecoming they deserved.

Written by Anuradha Varma | Updated: February 3, 2017 12:45 pm
trump, donald trump, trump muslim ban, trump denies visa, trump policies, trump mexico, trump counter extremism, trump extremism, world news, trump news People participate in a candlelight vigil at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas. People gathered to protest against President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US and suspending the nation’s refugee program. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The world is truly a mess (to quote newly elected US President Donald Trump) and getting scarier by the minute with bad news pouring out of every corner of the globe. Growing up, one laughed at the idea of bottled water and now that we’re here in the 21st century, it’s all become frighteningly real, with disappearing Delhi winters, global warming, rising intolerance… just name it! We’re living in the kind of world that enlightened beings once warned about bringing children into.

With Trump’s single ruling blocking immigrants and raising doubts on pretty much anybody from seven countries entering the United States, the world’s tenuous balance threatens to tip over the edge. But, soon after the ruling, something miraculous happened, as we all saw. A judge stayed the order, making sure that people with valid visas were not thrown off planes. At the airport, they were met with lawyers who turned up to help those detained, and once out, they fell into the arms of a welcoming crowd, some of them immigrants themselves. As the world watched, hope swelled once again. All it took was a few people who stood up to be counted.

In an age where nightmares score over fairy tales, a little courage is all it takes to be heroes, who are needed more than ever to trump (pun unintended!) the antagonists. New York Times journalist Ellen Barry posted on her Facebook page, “My daughters just demanded to see a picture of Ann Donnelly, the judge who ordered the stay. Here she is, in case your daughters want to see her.” That’s the stuff heroes are made of. When American writer-scholar Michael Heyman arrived back in his country, he was met by volunteer lawyers. He remarked on Facebook, “They asked me my nationality, if I had any trouble, and if I saw any trouble at immigration with anyone else. Thank you to these lawyers who are volunteering to do this. I didn’t see any trouble at Logan, but it’s good to know that these folks are around to help if anything pops up.”

These Americans realised it was time to wear their heart on their sleeves as they turned out to make sure virtual strangers got the homecoming they deserved. If that’s not the sign of something being right with the world, then what is?

For every Mickey and Donald ruining the show, there’s a Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM, who welcomes to his country those fleeing persecution, terror and war. Whether it’s actor Sushant Singh dropping the “Rajput” in his name on Twitter to protest the attack on filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali by a fringe group, citizens signing online petitions to highlight issues before authorities, Ashton Kutcher tweeting that his wife and actress Mila Kunis arrived to the US on a refugee visa, billionaire tech giants speaking out against Trump’s ban, every little bit counts.

In a world that sometimes makes no sense, it’s compassionate voices that restore sanity and blur boundaries of conflict. It’s time to stand up and be counted… we’re all we have.

The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee Views expressed are personal.

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First Published on: February 3, 2017 12:43 pm
  1. H
    Hindustan Hamara
    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:11 am
    There is going to be a war between ruling elites (Corporates and Bankers) and rest of the world's poor and weak. Who wins God Knows.
    1. J
      Feb 3, 2017 at 11:27 am
      Why is it anyone's right to get into the US? If the country doesn't want you why is it human rights violation? Indian Netas want all these immigrants as vote bank. Trump doesn't give a flying fig for vote banks. Just go back to the home you destro in the name of various beliefs and look to other rich countries like Saudi and Qatar and so on.
      1. G
        Feb 3, 2017 at 8:13 am
        It's all good to write ,but please ask why the so called rich Islamic countries are not welcoming the refugees into their countries ?why only the western nations need to do this ?a
        1. P
          Feb 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm
          Why can't all countries come together and fight Isis and keep the people where they belong instead of jeopardizing their lives and letting them off to western countries. Nobody wants Islam to spread to their countries, it has only spread hatred chaos killings. Can these so called developed west keep them where they belong and nip these Isis forever.
          1. Z
            Feb 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm
            American goodness on display giving major headache to right wing. lt;br/gt;All brownies are on hit list. Including the paid commenters below.
            1. K
              Feb 5, 2017 at 4:57 am
              It seems US is the only country in this planet for these refugees yo settle down.Why don't they try other countries.The press has been brutal towards trump who has won yhe people's mandate.
              1. A
                Feb 3, 2017 at 9:23 am
                Bhansali deserved in many times over.
                1. S
                  Feb 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm
                  It is amazing to see who are making big noise about immigrants. The USAlt;br/gt;have never respected human rights. Why? They themselves are immigrants orlt;br/gt;kin of immigrants. The Europeans on the way to India, saw people living inlt;br/gt;a beautiful country with much minerals. Then they start killing the Natives, tooklt;br/gt;their land and call themselves Americans. The land became theirs and not of thelt;br/gt;Natives. Then they brought Africans as slaves and not as immigrants. After thelt;br/gt;Christians wars - 2 World wars - others races were allowed in. The last grouplt;br/gt;moving towards USA was Indians from India, because they were educatedlt;br/gt;and useful. But till now not a single USA president or government have triedlt;br/gt;to undo the injustice the USA have done to the Natives of America. Therelt;br/gt;land was stolen and were banned to barren land. Their families and childrenlt;br/gt;are suffering all the time, but USA didn't care. What president Trump havelt;br/gt;said is fully right. American first! Mr. President this is alsolt;br/gt;applicable on the Native Indians. Give them theirs rights back. It is their country.
                  1. D
                    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:58 am
                    Everyone can, and should help refugees. But there's strong evidence in Europe at least of dangerous people claiming refugee status. A rational person will acknowledge both these;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Trump probably went too far in barring people completely, but the idea that everyone be carefully vetted makes sense. The first responsibility of a government is to protect its own citizens - only then can they help others.
                    1. M
                      Feb 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm
                      Media and its trump story, Bravo! Looks like this article has been written by a person who has nothing else to do. Trumps decision is based on what he thinks is good for his country and the legally staying in the country. Indians and everyone else have no right to say he is wrong. It is his country not ours. The Muslims should not go to USA but to the Muslim countries which will have rules and policies as per their religion. Why did Syrians not go to turkey and settle there? or to UAE or Saudi or Kuwait???
                      1. P
                        Feb 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm
                        Bad decision, which will come back to haunt America. It will take one terror act for all these supporters to sing a different tune. At that point they will complain the government does not do anything to protect and secure them.
                        1. R
                          Feb 3, 2017 at 7:33 am
                          He is not liar like most of the column writers He is serving to the very people he is elected not Pressutes who were telling in every single media he wont win, And non of them had apologized to tell lies and fake lies,If you got information you should know 49% peoples are in favor and 41 against and this is Democracy. if you know not left wing Dictator
                          1. S
                            sai ansh
                            Feb 3, 2017 at 10:22 am
                            Blah, blah, blah...have you any real argument?
                            1. S
                              Sudish Puthalat
                              Feb 3, 2017 at 9:06 am
                              A paid secular and manufactured anguish
                              1. J
                                John Doe
                                Feb 4, 2017 at 10:50 am
                                It is not "anyone's right to get into the US". Could Mr Modi get into the US before he became PM? Every person is vetted thoroughly on very stringent parameters before they are granted any kind of visa. Trump has done nothing new, except trying to show his machissimo (what you call 56" inch chest) to impress the whites in the US and brown coolies like you abroad, who think that they are someone who would be loved by Trump. Something similar to the RSS folks sucking up to the British prior to India's independence.
                                1. V
                                  Vinay J
                                  Feb 3, 2017 at 9:34 am
                                  Looking at the comments, I see some people will always remain;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I ask these people one simple question - Do you know one rape happens 15 minutes in our country?lt;br/gt;Now, if Trump's decides that Visa should NOT be given to Indians because of such severe rape problem here, what will you say about that policy?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;One must be a big who thinks all visas from a country should be stopped, even if the country has got a problem as frequent as every 15 minutes. Isn't it?lt;br/gt;So, can an ic decision become non-ic if it is directed at us?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Moreover, doing a small research we all know that the countries that were banned now, not even a single terror-attack (in west) has happened from these;br/gt;lt;br/gt;People who remain still dumb, either they got no time to explore the facts, or they don't have the ability to apply their common-sense of the falsely-created issues.
                                  1. I
                                    Feb 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm
                                    MU-SLIMS have no right to demand to be refugee in USA. .............. Why are the MU-SLIMS not demanding or CHINA offering REFUGEE STAUS to MU-SLIMS?? .......... The MU-SLIM COUNTRIES like SAUDIS, UAE, PAK-ISTAN, EGYPT, KUWAIT, IRAN, Moracco, etc ect must give refuge to MU-SLIMS. .................... Europe will learn the hard way for granting entry to so many MU-SLIMS in 10 years time when JI-HAD will start.
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