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My 2017 Letter to Donald Trump — Still Relevant Today

January 28, 2017

Dear President Donald J. Trump,

I did not vote for you on November 8, 2016. I am a life-long member of the Democratic Party and professionally work to assist Democratic candidates get elected into office. During the campaign trail, Americans witnessed a divisive, hate filled rhetoric and campaign message that piggy-backed on the fears and frustrations that Americans in key battleground states faced on a daily basis.

Like many Americans across the nation, I was stunned when I saw the election results broadcasted on the television screen. When you were declared the presumptive President-Elect, my social-media news feed lit up about you winning the election. As I watched your victory speech, I also saw many of my friends denounce your presidency with repetitive declarations of he’s “Not my President”.

I quickly recounted how many of my Republican friends denounced then-Senator Barack Obama when he was elected president of the United States in 2008. As I was disgusted at the comments made towards then President-Elect Obama, I too was upset at the comments made about you winning the election.

It is my firm belief that the Presidency commands respect from all Americans across the country. The president is the chief executive of our nation and in the past, has upheld American values and liberties that are preserved in our constitution. Though, I was unsatisfied with the election results, I had good faith in believing that you would guide our nation as your Republican predecessors had done before you; even though I would not have agreed with Republican policy initiatives. I had more faith in the Republican party and their establishment — the same folks who barred President Obama every moment they had — to preserve the values that has made our nation so great.

Within one week of your presidency, I quickly realized that I was wrong.

My story and existence, in a way, is the antithesis of the message that carried your presidential campaign.

My father immigrated to the United States from Iran — a now banned Muslim-majority immigrant state due to your recent executive order. He came to the US during the 1970s seeking hope for a better life and a place of refuge during the Iranian Revolution. My father came through your home state of New York and landed in Long Beach, California where he studied to become an engineer and eventually received his doctorate degree. It was through his belief that with hard-work and perseverance, any person would be able to achieve the American Dream.

While studying at California State University, Long Beach, my father met my beautiful mother. She, too, immigrated to this foreign land with the same uncertainty that many migrants are bonded by. My mother’s only belief about the United States was guided through the generations before her who said “America is a land of hope and opportunity.” At 13 years old, my mother traveled across Mexico with her family and landed in Los Angeles, California.

Both of my parents immigrated to the United States without any riches or belongings. They left their homes and families behind with fear and optimism. Their ambitions and tenacity were fueled by the idea that America is a land where every person could achieve their full potential. With hard-work and education, they sought to provide a better life for my siblings and me. A life that neither of them could dream of when they younger.

Echoing President Obama’s 2004 DNC Convention speech “in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”

As hundreds of thousands of people gather today to protest your executive orders on the banning of immigrants from Muslim-majority states and refugees from entering our country and how your proposal of building a wall dividing the US and Mexico was introduced earlier this week, I reflect on how my story would not be possible if my parents were born later in life. I reflect on how many lives — current and future — are now altered because of your decisions as our President. I reflect on how I would not be alive if you took command of the United States when my parents were trying to have a better life by seeking asylum in America.

America’s history and culture is steeped in the belief that beckons to its shores the subjugated, the persecuted, and all those “yearning to breathe free.” We embrace those who come to our nation in search of the promises and opportunities of the American Dream.

Refugees and immigrants come to the US seeking that American Dream. My father isn’t a radical Islamic terrorist. My mother isn’t a rapist or a murderer — nor has she done crime or brought drugs into America. Neither are most people who come to our great country searching to have a better life for their selves and their families.

Your words and certainly your actions have hurt and impacted far too many people. Your seismic, overreaching, and unprecedented executive orders have caused worldwide chaos and confusion. Your spoon fed lies, propaganda, censorship, conflicts of interests, and militaristic intents are causing domestic calamity and unrest. You are putting American security more at risk by your actions.

As humans, we live precarious lives. We are dependent on our neighbors and government for education, healthcare, and protection. That is why I am asking you and your Republican Party colleagues to start upholding the values that America is founded on. These are human lives that we need to welcome into our country. We are bounded by Emma Lazarus’ quote “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Remember that citizens hold the power of our country and we will hold you and your Republican colleagues accountable. You are now the 45th president for all Americans and are the leader of the free world. It is time to put your ego and pride aside and to start acting like a President.

With warm regards,

Brian K. Parvizshahi

Your favorite Iranian-Mexican American born constituent

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