America’s proud tradition of generosity to immigrants

 

America’s proud tradition of generosity to immigrants (OPINION) | OregonLive.com By Som Nath Subedi

In 2008, I stepped off a Northwest airliner in rainy Portland. I came as a refugee from the Kingdom of Bhutan. I came to America with a big IOM (International Organization for Migration) plastic bag and $10 dollars in small bills and change in my pants pocket. From all my studies, I believed Americans are fat from so much good food, are rich from so many great jobs, and that each owns a cozy home and drives a fast car. Seven years later, I am wondering: Is this what makes an American? I accomplished all three in three years. I even bought a bright red Mustang. But I still didn’t feel American. Two years ago, we celebrated my U.S. citizenship, and then I voted for the first time in my and my family’s life, ever, anywhere. But something was still missing. Finally, I realized that giving back to our new community is what being an American really means. America is among the world’s most generous nations. New Americans need to continue that tradition of opening hearts to refugees as we did to Holocaust survivors who had no place to go after World War II. European…

 

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