Originally published by The Washington Post
It was with admiration that I read the Feb. 28 Metro article “Would-be citizens get a boost in Arlington.” It is no secret that immigration has been and continues to be a hot-button issue. Much of the rhetoric surrounding immigration and potential reform is dichotomized: There is the “us,” the legal citizens of the United States, and the “them,” the foreign others whom President Trump’s proposed wall would obstruct. Needless to say, this rhetoric has proved divisive.
The unnamed Arlingtonian who created the scholarship fund to assist immigrants intending to take the U.S. citizenship exam is emblematic of a break in the “us” and “them” dichotomy. This woman represents a restoration of “we,” and it is a restoration that more Americans ought to work to bring about. Too often, the topic of illegal immigration diverts attention from the immigrants seeking naturalization legally. The immigrants at the center of this article are among those working tirelessly to acquire citizenship by U.S. standards. The scholarship fund is an example of how Americans can and should help immigrants in their communities and how America can reinstate the language and thinking of a collective “we.”