My parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s with relative ease. My grandmother was already working in D.C. when my mom came to live with her, and my dad went to New York for his medical residency.

Though their experiences weren’t particularly painful, the adjustment to a new place and culture was still difficult; but despite this, they found a way to thrive and achieve their American dream.

When I think about the mess our immigration system has now become, and the way immigrants are dehumanized and demonized, it makes me angry that not all people are given the same fair chance that my family was given.

This country was built on the backs of people from all over the world, some of whom came here out of desire and others out of survival. It’s infuriating that this country benefits politically, socially and economically from immigration, but denies immigrants the compassion and dignity they deserve.

This is why I encourage everyone to contact Rep. Denver Riggleman (434-973-9631), share their support for the immigrant community and tell him to preserve the right to seek asylum in Virginia and in the rest of our nation.

Maddy M. Ayalew


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