D.C. Immigrants Wary of Trump’s Policies

With immigration being at the forefront of news today, due to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions, some of Washington D.C.'s immigrant population are concerned about the future and the way immigrants are perceived. 

Americans protesting the 'Muslim Ban' earlier this year. Photo by Wikicommons

According to the American Immigration Council, over 14 percent of D.C. residents are foreign born. 

Florence Didigu, a PHD candidate, and graduate assistant at Howard University for the Annenberg Honors Program has had a long experience with immigration stretching back to the late 70s’.  She came to the U.S. to escape the Nigerian Civil War.

 “I had been a refugee for three years, due to the Nigerian Civil War,” she said. Didigu believes that most people leave the countries they were born in because of travesty.  She recalled a video she saw of a young girl who said, “for those people that criticize refuges, you don’t leave home, except when home is the mouth of a shark.”

Didigu like many other immigrant students in the United States, are at odds with Trump’s plans for travel bans and walls to divide the nation from others.

A recent Supreme Court ruling has allowed the ban to go in effect. 

Attorney-at-law, Aitza Haddad, a Howard University graduate from United Puerto Rico, is sure that Trump’s plans for the wall will not come to fruition, despite the administration has begun testing prototypes for the border wall.

“The wall is an idea that the President used to gain votes, however within international law it has no validity, because no nation can force another sovereign nation to do anything. That is a colonization type of behavior and it became illegal after the creation of the United Nations,” Haddad said.

Trump’s desire for a travel ban in seven Muslim countries and recent Muslim bashing retweets, have people picking sides for and against the Islam faith.

 For Didigu, her perceptions of those who wear Hijabs and practice Islam were shaped by a personal experience. “One day, I was very tired and I had my purse and a bag with all my work for my Ph.D., and I got off the train with only my purse and a young girl with a Hijab tapped me on my shoulder and handed me my other bag, I had left it on the train, and then she darted back on to the train before the doors shut,” she said. 

Doctorial candidate Jean Louis Ntang, who was born in France and later moved back to his parents home of Cameroon when he was young came to the U.S. in 2003 and did undergrad at the University of Oklahoma.  Ntang believes that Trump’s initiatives were his promises to the voters and for their appeasement, for instance the travel ban. “It’s a way to make voters happy, he (Donald Trump), said he was going to have a Muslim ban, in the head of the voters he delivered. In terms of statistics the countries with the band have less terrorist than ones not included."